MLB Baseball Betting: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals

MLB Baseball Betting:  Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals

NHL hockey season is now in the books and (hopefully) NBA season will end tonight. That leaves us with baseball until football beings. We’ll go to the top of the board for today’s play as the Chicago Cubs hit the road to take on the surging Washington Nationals. And for one of the few times all season the Cubs are a decent sized underdog. Both teams have won 7 of their last 10 games but there’s a perception in the marketplace that the Cubs are ‘slumping’. This perception is a good thing as it will give us some opportunities to play the Cubs at more reasonable prices than we’ve seen previously this season.

The Nationals are playing great baseball as well and have opened up a 4.5 game lead over the New York Mets atop the National League East. The Cubs can’t fall asleep at the switch, however, as the St. Louis Cardinals have closed to within nine games. This looks like a great opportunity to play the Cubs and honestly the valuation is curious. Max Scherzer hasn’t pitched particularly well this year (3.57 overall ERA, 4.50 ERA at home) but has looked better in his last three starts (2.86 ERA 0.909 WHIP). He’s definitely a ‘brand name’ pitcher but he hasn’t pitched as well statistically as Kyle Hendricks (2.77 YTD, 2.05 L3). Hendricks is just 1-4 on the road which might have something to do with the line on this game.

The Cubs have won all four games head to head this season and just about all of their other games as well. That’s an overstatement, of course, but the Cubs have established themselves as the best team in baseball. Among many other superlatives they’re 21-10 +6.2 units on the road. They’re 25-7 +13.5 units against teams with winning records, 30-13 +6.8 units against right handed starters and 43-18 +10.3 units overall. The prices are starting to catch up (and pass) the Cubs but just can’t pass them up as an underdog. Scherzer has the ‘name value’ to attract public money but his form this season has been nothing special. At worst, this is a coin flip and taking plus money on one side of a coin flip is a long term profit proposition.