Chicago Cubs (43-18) at Washington (39-24)
When: Monday, June 13th 2016
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: ESPN
The MLB leading Chicago Cubs will continue their road swing with the first of three in D.C. when they take on the Washington Nationals on Monday night. Chicago is 4-2 on a nine-game road trip after scoring 21 runs to take the last two at Atlanta, improving to a major league-best 43-18. National League East-leading Washington, which dropped four straight to the Cubs last month, has won three in a row and five of six games after rallying in the ninth for a 5-4 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday. Former Phillie Jayson Werth’s two-run single gave the Nationals the victory and he is 9-for-18 with eight RBIs during a five-game hitting streak. Jason Heyward scored five runs for the Cubs over the last two games, but is still hitting just .240. Chicago 1B Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in nine consecutive contests, recording 10 RBIs in that span, while Washington infielder Danny Espinosa has homered six times in a 10-game span, including each of the last two.
Pitchers: Cubs – Kyle Hendricks (4-5, 2.90 ERA) | Nationals – Max Scherzer (7-4, 3.57)
Max Scherzer gave up a season-high seven runs to the Cubs in a loss on May 6th, but has gone 4-2 since while allowing two or fewer runs in five of six outings. He has won two straight starts and is coming off one of his best outings of the season, allowing five hits in seven scoreless innings last Wednesday against the slumping Chicago White Sox. Scherzer is among the league leaders with 107 strikeouts in 88.1 innings, but has surrendered 16 homers – 11 in the last seven starts.
Hendricks has limited opponents to two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts, including Tuesday against Philadelphia. He owns a 1.50 career ERA in three games against Washington and has given up a homer to Bryce Harper but has controlled Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon (0-for-6 each). Hendricks is 1-4 with a 4.23 ERA on the road and 3-1 with a 1.99 mark at home.
Hendricks might have a better home record, but looking at the opponents he’s faced at Wrigley, I can see why. He might have the worst starting ERA for a Cub, but it’s still under 3.00! No way I’m passing up on the Cubs +125. Not this year.
Pick: Cubs +125