A Playoff Preview? Nationals Visit Cubs in Battle of First Place Clubs

Washington Nationals (+1.36) at Chicago Cubs (-1.48, 7 O/U )

Right-hander Joe Ross takes the mound tonight for the road team Washington Nationals. He is 3-0 on the year with a 0.79 ERA. Through the first month of the season, Ross has been as good as advertised. On Saturday, he held a hot-hitting Cardinals lineup to one run in six innings, leading the Nationals to a 6-1 victory at Busch Stadium. The Nationals have gone over the total in 33% of his starts.

The Chicago Cubs will send right-hander Kyle Hendricks out as their starter; he has a 2-2 record so far in 2016. Hendricks held the Brewers to two hits over five innings in his last outing, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Manager Joe Maddon admitted there was no reason to pull Hendricks, but he needed to try and score at that point. The Cubs are 2-2 in games started by him, and have gone over 25% of those games. The Washington Nationals are 19-6 on the year, with an over/under record of 9-13-4. Chicago Cubs is 19-6 this year, and 15-8-2 on totals. Forecasts are calling for 50° temperatures. The humidity will be around 66%. There is a 1% chance of precipitation.

Hendricks: 26 years old right-hander, 6’3” 190 pounds.
Throws: fastball (86.7 mph, 76%), change up (17%)

Washington Nationals Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 4.12 (18)
Home Runs: 32 (10)
Batting average: 0.238 (22)
On-base percentage: 0.308 (23)
Slugging percentage: 0.404 (13)
Stolen bases: 13 (19)
Last seven games: 14 (.715 OPS)
Last 14 games: 25 (.661 OPS)
Last 28 games: 14 (.718 OPS)
Versus Righties: 20 (.684 OPS)
Versus lefties: 3 (.824 OPS)
Home: 20 (.667 OPS)
Away: 12 (.749 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 1 (.1112 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 28 (.514 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 24 (.708 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 17 (.715 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 13 (.775 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 13 (.736 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 18 (.681 OPS)
First five innings: 14 (.727 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 9 (.735 OPS)

Ross: 23 years old right-hander, 6’4” 205 pounds.
Throws: fastball (92.5 mph, 56%), slider (32%), change up (12%)

Chicago Cubs Offense

Runs per game (ranking): 6.12 (1)
Home Runs: 28 (14)
Batting average: 0.255 (10)
On-base percentage: 0.362 (2)
Slugging percentage: 0.42 (11)
Stolen bases: 17 (8)
Last seven games: 11 (.751 OPS)
Last 14 games: 1 (.865 OPS)
Last 28 games: 6 (.778 OPS)
Versus Righties: 3 (.800 OPS)
Versus lefties: 13 (.726 OPS)
Home: 18 (.681 OPS)
Away: 2 (.841 OPS)
1st Inning Production: 18 (.749 OPS)
Facing a Power Pitcher: 2 (.795 OPS)
Facing a Finesse Pitcher: 9 (.801 OPS)
Facing a fly ball pitcher: 4 (.803 OPS)
Facing a ground ball pitcher: 19 (.694 OPS)
Run Production at Night: 3 (.811 OPS)
Run Production During Day: 12 (.728 OPS)
First five innings: 10 (.750 OPS)
6th to 9th Innings: 5 (.809 OPS)