The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs have had a tight, back-and-forth series so far in the NLDS. The Cubs managed to take Game 1 by a score of 3-0 while the Washington Nationals respond with a 6-3 win in Game 2. The Cubs claimed Game 3 by a narrow 2-1 margin. Now the two sides will head into Tuesday’s matchup, which is obviously a potential elimination game for the Nationals. While the Nationals had some options on the table in terms of what they wanted to do with their pitching staff, in the end, they decided to go with Tanner Roark. As for the Cubs, they have been set on Jake Arrieta for a while. He has been recovering from a hamstring injury.
Date – Tuesday October 10th, 2017
Time – 5:38 PM EST
Line – WSH -110
Why The Nationals Might Win
Tanner Roark will take to the mound for the Washington Nationals in this one. He had a 13-11 record this season with a 4.67 ERA, so it’s not as if he’s a sure thing. The Nats are an underdog in this spot mostly because of Roark. The good news for him is that he has performed better on the road than at home. On the road this season, he has a 5.04 ERA while allowing opponents to bat .265. He was just 6-6 at home. On the road, he had a 7-5 record with a 4.26 ERA while holding opponents to a .241 batting average.
What the Nats are hanging their hats on is the fact that he pitched much better down the stretch of the season. Before the All-Star break, Roark had posted a 5.27 ERA while opponents batted .278 against him. He had given up 13 home runs in 100.2 innings of work. After the break, Roark picked it up a little bit as his ERA dropped to 3.90 while opponents batted just .223 against him. He also gave up just 10 home runs in 80.2 innings of work. He’s only faced the Cubs once this season but has posted a 2.84 ERA while giving up two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work.
Why The Cubs Might Win
Jake Arrieta will take to the mound for the Cubs as they look to take care of business at home. He’s been off since September 26th and really didn’t finish the season with much success. He pitched just 10.1 innings in three starts in September, posting a 6.1 ERA. He gave up five home runs in those three starts, which is a concern.
The good news is that each of those three starts came on the road and Arrieta has been much weaker on the road than at home this season. In Game 4, he’ll be at home. On the road this year, Arrieta has a 3.87 ERA while holding opponents to a .251 batting average. He was 9-8. At home, he posted a 2.90 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average. The main difference was the fact that he was much cleaner in terms of home runs at home than on the road. In away games, he gave up 19 home runs in 109.1 innings of work. At home, he allowed just four home runs in 59 innings pitched. He was pummeled in his only start against the Nationals this season, giving up six runs – five earned – in 4.0 innings of work. The Nats batted him around for four innings, posting a .333 batting average. Obviously, he needs to be much better in this spot if the Cubs are to get the win.
This is a bit of a tricky spot as both teams have pitchers that are wild cards. Arrieta had a rough end to the season and is recovering from injury, but he was fairly reliable at home this season. He also has plenty of big-game experience for the Cubs. On the flip side, you have Roark, who struggled to start the year but finished well. However, his numbers on the season overall aren’t that pretty.
With that in mind, we’re going to avoid the sides here and bet on the over. This should be a high-scoring affair as both pitchers could be susceptible to the opposing team’s bats.
Pick: Nationals -110
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