I’m backing the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday as the defending World Series champs attempt to close out the Nationals. Jake Arrieta’s hamstring issues seem behind him according to reports and he’s back home where the righthander dominated all season. Arrieta will face a struggling lineup. We mentioned in our game one preview that the Nationals’ offense fell off over the final month of the season, ranked 26th, 25th, 26th, and 24th, in team batting average, OBP, OPS, and runs scored, respectively. They’re an even worse 11 of 91, (.121 team batting average) in the postseason. Bryce Harper finished the regular season just 3 of 18 after coming back from injury. He’s yet to find his groove, now 5 for his last 30, including just 2 hits in 12 at-bats in the postseason. His lack of production certainly hamstrings the already struggling Nats’ lineup. Tanner Roark is slated for the Nats today. Roark hasn’t pitched since October 1 and sports a 4.67 ERA in 32 appearances this season. The righthander has allowed 17 earned runs in his last six appearances, spanning 31 2/3 IP, for a 4.83 ERA. The Cubs enter on a 25-5 run against righthanded starters and they’re 17-5 in their last 22 games, overall. I’m backing the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Thanks & GL! Scott Spreitzer.
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