Editorial by: Graydon Fox
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On Sunday, August 12th, the (58-55) Washington Nationals will be on the road to take on the (66-47) Chicago Cubs.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Cubs 5.1 – Nationals 3.7 with an over/under of 8.8.
WAS: Jefry Rodriguez (1-1, 5.84) vs CHC: Cole Hamels (7-9, 4.38)
Runs per game: Cubs 5.00 (4th) > Nationals 4.58 (12th)
Batting Average: Cubs .267 (2nd) > Nationals .249 (13th)
On Base Percentage: Cubs .345 (1st) > Nationals .329 (7th)
Total Bases: Cubs 1678 (5th) > Nationals 1583 (15th)
Stolen Bases: Nationals 83 (4th) > Cubs 49 (19th)
Team Earned Run Average: Cubs 3.76 (7th) > Nationals 3.80 (8th)
Batting Average Against: Cubs .238 (9th) > Nationals.239 (10th)
Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched: Nationals 1.22 (6th) > Cubs 1.34 (19th)
Strikeouts: Nationals 1012 (8th) > Cubs 920 (21st)
Saves: Cubs 34 (5th) > Nationals 31 (11th)
Errors: Nationals 46 (2nd) > Cubs 68 (20th)
The Nationals enter the game ranking 12th in runs per game (4.58) and 8th in team earned run average (3.80). Washington is (6-4) in their last ten games and (29-28) on the road this season. Bryce Harper (.234, 27 HR, 70 RBI) is having a down season in his walk year but the power numbers are certainly there. Trea Turner leads the majors in stolen bases (31). Anthony Rendon (.284, 16 HR, 56 RBI) is among the most underrated players in baseball while rookie Juan Soto (.315, 14 HR, 39 RBI) has made quite the early impression. The Nationals have a power rotation and are one of the best defensive teams in the majors. Washington hitters will be up against the lefty Cole Hamels (7-9, 4.38) who they are batting a combined .248 against in 242 at-bats. Hamels is (2-0, 0.84) for the Cubs since being acquired from the Texas Rangers.
The Cubs rank 4th in runs per game (5.00) and 7th in team ERA (3.76). Chicago is (6-4) in their last ten games and (35-21) at home this season. Javier Baez (.300, 25 HR, 88 RBI) has emerged into a superstar and is one of the frontrunners for league MVP. Kris Bryant has had a disappointing season thus far and is still sidelined with a shoulder injury. Anthony Rizzo (.265, 17 HR, 74 RBI) has stepped up in Bryant’s absence and been a run producer. Pedro Strop has done a nice job in the closer role with Brandon Morrow on the disabled list. The Cubs rotation has done a nice job but their bullpen ranks 5th in ERA (3.30). Nationals starter Jefry Rodriguez (1-1, 5.84) has held Cubs hitters to a combined .176 average in 34 total at-bats. Rodriguez is (0-1, 5.59) on the road this season and pitched very well in his last start.
The Cubs have the advantage in this pitching match-up as Rodriguez hasn’t logged more than five innings in any start this season. Cole Hamels has been lights out since becoming a Cub allowing only one earned run in two starts. I expect the Cubs to get Rodriguez out of the game early and take care of business at home where they have played very well.
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