May 5, 2016
There is one recommended MLB wager tonight.
In addition, an NBA pick has been released early, a day in advance, for Friday.
Take Washington Nationals (+130) on the ML against Chicago Cubs risking 3% to win 3.9%.
(Ross and Hendricks must start for wager to have action)
Two contenders with fast starts face off in the opener of this 4-game series tonight. These two clubs sport the best winning percentage in baseball so far this season and both have lofty ambitions! The top two records in baseball go head-to-head in a what should be an entertaining series to watch. We happen to believe that it'll be closer than most anticipate as the Cubbies are being just a bit over-rated right now about now. They are no doubt a quality team this year and a legitimate World Series contender but we believe the Nats aren't far behind and are capable of causing an upset!
The Nationals are firing on all cylinders and are coming off a road series win over the defending champions, Kansas City Royals! They showed great character in yesterday's rubber match to bounce back, after throwing away the middle game of that set in the 9th inning. Dusty Baker's appointment has not taken long to make an impact as the former Cincinnati Red skipper has united what was a talented but divided clubhouse under Matt Williams last year. New acquisition, Daniel Murphy is swinging a hot bat while MVP Bryce Harper broke out of his recent slump in style yesterday! We believe the players are confident after that series win over KC and will be looking to put the baseball world on notice by taking a game or two at Wrigley Field!
Coach Maddon's Chicago Cubs are coming off an emotional sweep of NL Central rivals, Pirates and while that was impressive, it sets them up for somewhat of a 'let-down spot' tonight. To manage a 3-0 sweep of the Bucs in Pittsburgh might just have this team a bit complacent heading back home, where they feel they can do no wrong. The Nats aren't to be taken lightly on the road however as they have won 11 of 15 games away from home this season! This is a talented squad that combines good pitching with good hitting and should be a live underdog in this opener.
Joe Ross takes the mound for the DC club tonight and he's been sensational to start the year! The talented younger brother of Tyson Ross (Padres) is 3-0 with a miniscule 0.79 ERA this season! He's mature well beyond his years and despite being an impressive athlete, his best attribute might just be his poise and composure. One advantage he has over Hendricks and many of the other pitchers he goes up against is that he hasn't been in the Majors long enough for scouting reports to be super detailed. He's still an 'unknown' quantity for many of the batters he comes up against and that makes him more unpredictable. Chicago hitters have had less than a handful of at-bats against him and don't have much prior experience to fall back on. He might just keep them off-balance and on their toes in the first few orders through the lineup before the bullpen takes over.
The Cubs are currently dealing with several important injuries and that is testing their depth at multiple positions. The loss of Kyle Schwarber early in the season was disappointing but manageable given that Joe Maddon had a wealth of options at his disposal. However, now that Jason Heyward and Matt Szczur are also sidelined, Ryan Kalish will likely get the start at LF! Whether he takes advantage of this rare opportunity or not, remains to be seen but nerves may be a factor and Chicago is certainly not currently at its best. The all-important catcher position is another that will see their 3rd choice! That's because with Miguel Montero banged up and David Ross getting the day off, it'll be Tim Federowicz behind home plate, giving Hendricks signals.
The Nationals are are a live underdog in this matchup in our opinion and are being disrespected by these odds! They have already shown that they are not only capable of winning on the road but doing so in the most hostile environments. They're going up against a quality team but one that isn't at its best! Meanwhile, Washington does have its best players available and will be quietly confident in its chances. They should have been very small underdogs in our opinion and not in the +130 range. They are capable of winning this game and display great value at these odds. Hendricks may not be at his sharpest tonight given that he last pitched on April 26th! It also won't help that he only went 5 innings on that day. Given the unusual extra rest and layoff, he might be rusty in the first few innings and that might just give the heavy Washington bats enough of an advantage to win this baseball game.
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