Free NLDS Series Prediction: Cubs vs Nationals Odds
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2017 NLDS Free Series Picks & Odds
The Cubs got the monkey off their back (or goat) last year. Now they are looking for the rare repeat.
During the Regular Season the Cubs had their struggles. However, in the final analysis they are in pretty good shape. They won the NL Central somewhat easily and are in pretty good shape healthwise.
Washington was not pushed very hard this season, winning the East faster than any other division winner.
They have been noted for their struggles in the playoffs though. Expelling that reputation against last year’s World Series winners is not going to be easy.
2017 NLDS Free Series Prediction: Offense
The Cubs can score. They have a pretty balanced lineup but also have stars like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. They have power up and down their lineup.
Even though their overall numbers are good 2017 saw the likes of Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell really struggle. Jason Heyward picked up his production though.
Wild Cards for the Cubbies are Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Schwarber really struggled at times but he hit 30 homers and was a key to last season’s playoffs. Happ bashed 24 homers as a rookie but is untested in the playoffs.
Washington beats the Cubs in every offensive category except home runs during the regular season. Unfortunately this group, save Daniel Murphy, has not enjoyed great success in the playoffs.
The health and effectiveness of Bryce Harper is key to the lineup. He was out for more than a month but got in a few at bats the final week of the season.
Ryan Zimmerman had a renaissance this season, leading the team in homers and RBIs. A lot of that damage was done early though.
Trea Turner give the Nats a speed element that the Cubs don’t have. It is amazing how a game can come to a stop when there is a high level base stealing threat out there.
With the exception of Turner the Nats are the much more experienced lineup. The question is whether that is a good thing given the playoff track records of the group.
Edge: Chicago Cubs
This is a tough call with Chicago getting the advantage of playoffs success and what that really means. This young group has proven they can perform under pressure and that matters.
2017 NLDS Free Series Prediction: Pitching
While the staff of the defending champs is good it is easy to say that last year’s group was better.
That begins in the rotation where the likes of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey did not have the regular seasons they did in the past. This is a very experienced group they are a year older and it shows.
It will be interesting to see where they slot in Jose Quintana. He has been good but not great since being acquired from across town.
Wade Davis is a good closer but not nearly as fearsome as Aroldis Chapman. Carl Edwards Jr. is probably their most dominant arm and it will be interesting to see how he is deployed this post season.
Washington has good pitching, they finished 6th in ERA and 1st in quality starts.
You can make an easy argument that Max Scherzer is the best starting pitcher in baseball (at the very least top 3) but right now he is questionable for game one. A series where he gets two starts gives the Nats a huge advantage.
If Scherzer can’t go to start the series the nod will go to Stephen Stasburg. A pretty good backup plan. The Stras can dominate but does not work as deep as often. Gio Gonzalez had an underrated year and will the be the third starter.
Washington is crossing their fingers that their bullpen can keep it together in the playoffs. The group had their struggles in the regular season, so much so that they trade for two team’s closers – Sean Doolittle and Brandon Kintzler. They are all in for sure this season.
Edge: Washington Nationals
Washington might have the three best starters on either team in those listed above. Anyone can dominate a lineup missing lots of bats and crushing run scoring opportunities.
The bullpens probably favour Chicago with Wade Davis standing out as someone who has succeeded in the most critical of moments. Washington upgraded but those guys lack the resume. Still starting pitching rules for me.
2017 NLDS Free Series Prediction: Cubs vs. Nationals
It is tough to follow up a long championship winning season!
All season long it has looked like the Nats are read to take that next step and it is hard not to like the lineup and pitching depth.
I am not ready to place them in the World Series but I am not forecasting an early exit for this Washington team.
2017 NLDS Prediction: Washington in 5
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