Now that the second half of the 2023 MLB season is underway, every team in the league is going to be making a big push the rest of the way. The Washington Nationals visit the Chicago Cubs on Monday night to begin a series between some struggling NL teams.
Washington is not going to be making the playoffs this season, and they are going to be looking to make some big trades over the next few weeks. The Nationals are just 37-56 on the year, and they started off the second half by losing two of three games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Chicago comes into this series with an overall record of 43-49, and they are still in the mix in the NL Central Division. The Cubs just dropped two of three games to the Boston Red Sox to begin the second half, and they need to turn things around in a hurry.
The Chicago Cubs are moneyline betting favorites at -150 over the Washington Nationals in the series opener on Monday night.
Washington Struggling to Get Pitching
The Washington Nationals come into this game with a team ERA of 4.81 this season, and they really need to find a way to improve as the season moves along. Washington doesn’t have the offense capable of making up for bad pitching, and that’s the reason that they are almost 20 games under the .500 mark.
Mackenzie Gore will make the start in this game, and he has gone just 4-7 with a 4.42 ERA this season. Washington is hitting over .260 as a team this season, but they have also really struggled to find some power along the way.
Cubs Need Consistent Offense
Drew Smyly is on the mound for the Cubs on Monday night, and he has gone 7-6 with a 4.31 ERA this season. Smyly has shown the ability to shut down some of the best offenses in baseball this season, but he has to be at his best as the team is struggling to do damage on offense.
Nico Hoerner is providing a ton of offense for this team as he is leading the way with a .270 batting average to go along with 48 RBIs. Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom have both hit 15 home runs to lead the way, but the Cubs don’t always find consistently at the plate.
Cubs Win Series Opener
Both the Nationals and Cubs have gotten off to a slow start in the second half of the season, but Washington doesn’t have a ton to look forward to. The Nationals are not a good team when it comes to pitching and that will present a problem in this one.
The Cubs are struggling to find consistency at the plate, but this is a chance for them to really get back on track. Chicago still has something to play for, and that is going to matter as the season moves along.
Bet the Chicago Cubs -150 on Monday night against the Washington Nationals as they take control in the series opener.