It was a disappointing loss yesterday for the Chicago Cubs, falling 4-3 to the visiting Washington Nationals. Juan Soto homered off of Wrigley Field’s right-field scoreboard, demonstrating his immense power and helping Max Scherzer win his third straight contest. Soto was the 16th player to hit that scoreboard, which was installed in 2012, when he absolutely slammed a 421-foot bomb off a 3-2 slider from Jake Arrieta (4-4). That drive gave the Nats a 4-1 lead that they just barely held onto for the 4-3 win. Soto also had two singles in the game. The Cubs meanwhile, fell to .500 again on the season at 21-21.
Today’s game will feature Nats pitcher Joe Ross (2-3, 5.80 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 33 K) and the Cubbies will send out Trevor Williams (2-2, 6.27 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 37 K). The Cubs are 15-9 at home this season, and they have a very impressive team on-base percentage of .318, which is good for fourth in the National League. Kris Bryant, who has had a remarkable year so far, leads the team with a .398 OBP.
Meanwhile, the Nats haven’t been so successful on the road this year, going 8-12 overall. Their road struggles can be clearly seen, but their bats have still been quite impressive. They currently are first in the NL in team batting average, sitting at .253 as a club. Trea Turner has been everything we knew he would be, a hitting machine that cranks out knocks on a consistent basis. He’s batting a pretty incredible .327 this season.
Despite both of these pitchers struggling overall on the season, I’m taking the UNDER 10.5 runs in this contest. Williams has been a much better pitcher at home in Wrigley Field than he has on the road, and I think that continues here. A total of 10.5 is massive for a game that’s not being played Coors Field in Colorado, and I’ll take my chances with a good performance from Williams at home.
On the other side, Kris Bryant has been mashing the ball lately. He leads the Cubs with 24 extra-base hits and is batting .308 this season. If you pair the under with Bryant to hit a HR, your odds go up to +570. I don’t think that’s a bad bet at all, or you could choose to play them separately. After having the Juan Soto game yesterday, Turner is also prying to get in on the fun. He leads the team with 10 homers and is slugging an impressive .566 for a man of his stature.
Bet: u10.5 runs
I like the Cubs to take this one today at Wrigley in a lower-scoring affair. Over their last 10 games, the Cubs have a better batting average and ERA than the Nats and have outscored their opponents by 9 runs. I think Kris Bryant continues to have good at-bats, and the team as a whole will do enough off of Ross to get them to 5 or 6 runs. The bullpen has also been really good recently, and they should be able to lock down the Nats after a bounce-back performance from Williams at home. No more scoreboard hitting in this one, unfortunately.