Cubs vs. Nationals prediction and odds for Tuesday, May 2 (Why OVER is best bet)
By Reed Wallach
The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals continue their early week series in Washington D.C. on Tuesday with Chicago's elite offense continuing to roll early in the season.
Despite losing some key players over the past several years, the Cubs have made some savvy in the moves in the offseason and called up some key prospects that have contirbuted to a top five offense in baseball. They now get to beat up on one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball in the Washington Nationals.
However, what appears to be holding the team back from competing for a postseason spot later in the year is the pitching staff. Prospects like Hayden Wesneski need to play better for the Cubbies to keep up with the NL Central.
Can Wesneski show up on Tuesday against the Nats? Let's check out the odds and find the best bet:
Cubs vs. Nationals odds run line and total
Cubs vs. Nationals prediction and pick
This is an over game, in my opinion.
While the Nationals have struggled on the year, hitting isn't a major cause for concern when compared to the pitching. The Nats are 12th in batting average and strikeout at a big league low rate.
The team is elite at putting the ball into play, which is going to cause problems for Wesneski, who is struggling to generate swings and misses (he has six strikeouts per nine innings) and has a 5.24 ERA.
However, the Cubs should be in for a big night at the dish and will likely out pace the Nationals. Trevor Williams will start for Washington, who is starting for the Nats this season after being a swingman for the Mets bullpen last season. He has a 4.10 ERA through five starts this year, backed by a 4.87 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), so the Washington defense has aided him to a solid mark.
Williams won't go deep into this game, and the Nats bullpen is below the big league average this season, which is going to lead to plenty of runs for the deep Cubs lineup that has the second best batting average this season at .276.
I can't trust Wesneski laying this price on the road even if the Nationals are terrible, but I can back the over as the Cubs should have a big night at the plate.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.