The Chicago Cubs (44-64, 23-33 home) continue their three-game series with the Washington Nationals (36-75, 19-35 away) on Tuesday night in the Windy City. Chicago opened up with a 6-3 victory on Monday night in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The first pitch of Tuesday’s contest is at 8:05 p.m. EST at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago is a heavy betting favorite at -205, and the over-under total is 8.5 runs.
What to Know – Washington Nationals
Nothing has been easy for the Nationals in the second half, and the team has dropped six MLB games in a row and eight of their last nine. Washington sits in the cellar of the National League East, 14.5 games back of its nearest competition.
The expected starter for the visitors is 35-year-old Paolo Espino (0-4, 4.20 ERA, 1.27 WHIP). The right-hander will try and secure his first victory of the season after moving to the starting rotation from the bullpen later in the first half of the season. Espino has tossed 70.2 innings of action, surrendering 33 earned runs on 77 hits and 13 walks while striking out 53 batters.
Washington traded away the heart of its order when it sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres. Now, the Nationals’ offense relies on veteran Nelson Cruz and Maikel Franco. Cruz, at 42 years old, has eight home runs and 52 runs batted.
The Nationals rank 12th in the majors with a .247 team batting average, scoring 3.8 runs per game. Washington’s pitching staff is last in the league, sporting a 5.33 team earned run average.
What to Know – Chicago Cubs
The Cubs come into the matchup winners in three of its last four battles. Chicago remains in third place in the NL Central but well back of the leading Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman (3-5, 4.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP) gets the ball on the hill for the Cubs. The 31-year-old missed most of June but returned in July and has one win over six trip to the mound since his return. In 2022, Stroman has pitched 74.1 innings, given up 33 earned runs, 67 hits, and 18 walks, with 68 strikeouts.
Patrick Wisdom leads the Cubs offense with 20 home runs and 52 RBIs at the dish. The Cubs elected to not deal Ian Happ and Wilson Contreras at the trade deadline, keeping the meat of the order in place. Contreras has 16 home runs and 43 RBIs, while Happ has gone deep nine times and driven in 46 runs.
Chicago averages 4.1 runs per game behind an offense that is 15th in the MLB, hitting .242 as a team. The pitching staff for Chicago has a 4.31 team ERA, 24th in the majors.
The Pick is In
Two bad teams going head-to-head here; the Cubs’ starting pitcher and lineup have the advantage. Adding the home field advantage, we like the Cubbies to take it to the Nationals tonight.
The Pick: Chicago Cubs ML