Runs will not be scored in large numbers when the Atlanta Braves visit the Chicago Cubs Saturday.
Both starting pitchers – Atlanta’s Kris Medlen and Chicago’s Travis Wood – have consistently kept scoring in check lately. Medlen, in particular, has been on form. He’s given up three runs or less in each of his past seven starts. His stats over his past four outings: 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA.
Wood hasn’t been quite as dominating, but he still has shown enough success recently to suggest he’ll compete in this clash. He’s given up two or fewer runs in three of his last four outings, and his numbers over his past four starts are 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
Another important fact is neither team has been really scoring runs in their past five games coming into this series. The Braves have been shut out twice in that stretch and scored a total of just 12 runs in those contests.
The Cubs were shut out once and mustered just 12 runs as well in their last five games. As a result, if both teams score their recent average they’ll produce less than 5 runs. The upshot: take less than 7 runs at 1.95.
In Miami, the Marlins will end up on the losing end in a match-up versus the Washington Nationals. One of baseball’s biggest surprises this year has been the fact that Washington’s phenomenal pitcher Stephen Strasburg hasn’t been in the news more often.
He continued to strike out more than a batter an inning. He also has given up fewer hits per nine innings than last year and has put up an excellent 2.96 ERA. But the fact that his club has been a disappointment – as reflected by his lack of run support (his record is just 7-9) is the best explanation I have for why he’s gone somewhat under the radar.
Well, I’m giving him his due here and strongly picking him to earn the win against the Marlins. Here’s why: Miami has scored the fewest runs per game of any club in the National League, and the Nationals have been hot – they’re 14-4 in September coming into this weekend.
No doubt Washington are the favourite team in this one, but they’re still a good pick at 1.30.
Back under 7 runs between the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves
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