Cubs vs Nationals Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Thursday, May 4
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Corbin (46) of the Washington Nationals.
Cubs vs. Nationals Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs will wrap up their four-game set this afternoon. The Nationals have ridden strong pitching to pick up back-to-back victories after dropping the first game. However, this afternoon the Cubs will welcome back one of their prized offseason acquisitions to toe the slab.
We have not seen Jameson Taillon since the middle of April, as he’s been on the shelf with a groin injury. He was excellent in three starts prior to the injury and will have the opportunity to pick up where he left off.
As for the Nationals, they will hand the ball to Patrick Corbin. After a few clunkers to begin the year, Corbin has rebounded over his last three starts. However, his numbers suggest that his quality outings are not going to be a theme.
So, who takes this series finale? Let’s find out and uncover the best bet for this matchup along the way.
This past offseason, the Cubs went out and made it a point to improve their lineup. They invested heavily in free agents, and thus far, it has paid dividends. The Cubs come into this matchup ranking sixth in wRC+ and wOBA. They also hold the second-highest team batting average in the majors.
While this lineup has been held to just two runs over the past two games, it is in a prime spot to break out against Patrick Corbin.
If you’ve been following our picks this season, then you know that Patrick Corbin is a pitcher we target every time: He’s been a profitable fade for quite some time now. Unfortunately, despite putting up decent stat lines his last few times out, he’s still due to regress.
Corbin enters this matchup with an xERA of 6.89 and ranks in the bottom 10% of all starters in xBA and xSLG. He has been allowing hard contact frequently this year, and it should continue this afternoon.
The Cubs have raked overall as a team, but they’ve shown they can do damage against lefties in particular. They are third in wOBA, ISO, and wRC+ against lefties. With those types of numbers, we can bet on them producing.
The Nationals have a ton of potential throughout; but they are very green, and that has shown through the early part of this season. Washington enters Thursday’s game ranked 25th in wOBA and wRC+, but they have done an excellent job of putting the ball in play, boasting the lowest strikeout rate in the majors.
So while positive regression may be coming, it won’t come early in this matchup if Jameson Taillon has anything to say about it. Taillon will make his return from the IL, boasting a 4.50 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, but a closer look shows he’s in line for success today.
Through three starts, he ranks in the top 30% in hard-hit rate, xBA, and xSLG. Much of his expected success comes from his cutter. Taillon has increased his cutter usage by 15%. Furthermore, while opposing batters have hit .529 off it, their average exit velocity is just 85.6 miles per hour.
Look for Taillon to pound lefties with cutters and do the same to righties with his sinker. Since we know the Nats won’t strike out, we should see a boatload of ground balls.
Cubs vs. Nationals Betting Pick
The Cubs are heavy favorites in this matchup, and their advantages both on the mound and at the dish are apparent. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in backing them.
We should see the Cubs jump on Corbin and put those tremendous splits into action. On the other side, Taillon’s revamped arsenal is the perfect way to attack this young Nationals team.
Take the bullpens out of this one and back the Cubs to be up halfway through.
Pick: Cubs F5 -0.5 (-140)
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