NLDS Game 5 – Cubs at Nationals – Free Pick
Yesterday was great for us as we hit on the Yankees on both the moneyline and runline. We have another Game 5 tonight to decide which team moves on to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chicago Cubs – Kyle Hendricks (-104) at Washington Nationals Gio Gonzalez (-106) Total: 7.5 runs -112
Chicago will go with the reliable Hendricks tonight as they face elimination. He had a bit of his season lost to injury, but he posted strong numbers once again, with 3.03 ERA and 123 strikeouts over 139.2 innings. Hendricks pitched Game 1 of the series and was fantastic, allowing just two hits and striking out six batters to earn the victory for the Cubs.
Dusty Baker has not yet announced a starter for tonight’s game but should do so a few hours before first pitch. It appears that Gio Gonzalez may get the nod, but Tanner Roark is still an option. Gio turned around his season after posting a subpar 4.57 ERA last season to notch a 2.96 mark this year.
Hendricks opened as a -115 favorite in this contest, but betting action has put both sides near even money. At Sportsbetting.ag, the Nationals are now slight favorites at -106 compared to the Cubs at -104. The total opened at 7.5 runs and has not seen significant movement either way. However, it is juiced on the under at most sportsbooks.
The Nationals did their job yesterday. Strasburg took apart the Cubs lineup, and they gutted out a win under terrible playing conditions. The loss must be demoralizing for the Cubs, who looked lost at the plate and had some shaky defense in the field.
I expect the crowd to be wild tonight in the Nation’s capital as the Cubs come to town. Hendricks is a good pitcher, but he leaves games earlier than the Cubs other starters. They already used Lester last night and will once again be forced to rely on their bullpen, and we can see how that can turn out, based on last night.