Friday MLB betting preview: Nationals at Cubs, Braves at Mets

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

August 23rd, 2019

Washington Nationals (70-57) at Chicago Cubs (69-58), 2:20 p.m. ET

Washington Nationals
+1.5 (-175)
Over 8 (-115)
Chicago Cubs
-1.5 (+145)
Under 8 (-105)

MLB free play: Over

Even with the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon, the Nationals-Cubs series opener should be a high-scoring affair.

Jon Lester (10-8, 4.23 ERA) will start for Chicago, and his last four outings against Washington have been disastrous. He is 0-2 with a 7.40 ERA during that span. Nationals right fielder Adam Eaton, third baseman Anthony Rendon and shortstop Trea Turner have 14 hits combined off Lester in just 35 at-bats (.400 average).
Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 3.99 ERA) has had a rough go of it since the All-Star break for the Nats, with a 4.74 ERA and .284 opponent batting average in seven efforts. His corresponding numbers before the break were 3.66 and .236, respectively. Cubs outfielders Nicholas Castellanos and Jason Heyward and third baseman Kris Bryant are 9-for-23 (.391) combined all-time against Sanchez.

Atlanta Braves (77-52) at New York Mets (67-60), 7:10 p.m. ET

Atlanta Braves
+1.5 (-135)
Over 7.5 (-115)
New York Mets
-1.5 (+115)
Under 7.5 (-105)

MLB free play: Mets -0.5 runs first five innings (-125)

It's hard to find a more lopsided starting-pitching matchup than the one in store for Friday night's series opener between the Braves and Mets, as a faltering Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 6.09 ERA) will face Jacob deGrom (8-7, 2.61 ERA), who's had a second-half that echoed his 2018 Cy Young campaign.

The Mets' ace owns a 1.21 ERA over his last eight starts. He's faced the Braves 15 times since 2016, and his ERA in those encounters is 2.02.
The Mets should have no difficulty scratching out runs against Foltynewicz, who owns a 1.440 WHIP in six road starts this season. Shortstop Amed Rosario is among the many New York batters seeing the ball well over his last seven games, as he sports a .438 average in that span. First baseman Pete Alonso (.444) and second baseman Joe Panik (.357) deserve credit as well.