Cubs vs Nationals Preview and Free Pick [6/15/2016]

Chicago Cubs (44-19) at Washington (40-25)
When: Wednesday, June 15th 2016
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, DC
Time: 4:05 ET | TV: WGN, MASN

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The Chicago Cubs broke the Washington Nationals four-game winning streak last night and look to win the series with the rubber-match on Wednesday afternoon. The Cubs won 4-3 on rookie Albert Almora Jr.’s go-ahead RBI double in the ninth Tuesday to even the series at a game apiece after Max Scherzer’s dominant outing fueled the Nationals in the series opener. The Cubs have won five of six meetings this season and seven of the last eight dating to 2015, and they hope to continue that trend with right-hander Jason Hammel on the mound for the finale. Hammel is 9-0 with a 3.16 ERA in 12 career starts against the Nationals, including a 6-0 mark and 3.02 ERA in seven starts at Nationals Park. Cubs starting pitchers have allowed three or fewer earned runs in 18 straight games. Nationals RF Bryce Harper is 5-for-26 with no extra-base hits against the Cubs this season and is 2-for-14 with five strikeouts versus Hammel in his career.


Pitchers: Cubs – Jason Hammel (7-2, 2.36 ERA) | Nationals – Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 3.03)

Hammel was outdueled by Atlanta’s Bud Norris in a 5-1 loss to the Braves last time out. He allowed three runs and eight hits over 5.2 innings and was hurt by a pair of home runs. Hammel faced the Nationals on May 7th in Chicago but didn’t factor in the decision, allowing three runs and four hits over five innings in an 8-5 Cubs win.

Stephen Strasburg puts his perfect record on the line for Washington tonight and he hopes to keep getting excellent run support. Washington is averaging 6.83 runs in games Strasburg starts and have scored five or more runs in 11 of his 13 outings. Strasburg didn’t have his best outing Friday against Philadelphia but got enough support to pick up his 10th win. He struck out 10 while allowing four runs and five hits over seven innings. Strasburg is 0-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts against the Cubs, but hasn’t faced them since 2013.

I’m going to take the Cubs here today. They own the Nationals over the last two seasons and Hammel has been pretty solid all season. Washington won’t get the run support for Strasburg today. Take the dog.

Pick: Cubs +130