MLB Friday Preview: Cubs at Nationals, Royals at Angels
Chicago Cubs (25-16) at Washington Nationals (18-25), 7:05 p.m. ET
MLB Free Play: UnderCole Hamels (3-0, 3.08 ERA) (CHC) +140 / +1.5 runs (-155) / Over eight runs (-105) Max Scherzer (2-4, 3.64 ERA) (WSH) -155 / -1.5 runs (+130) / Under eight runs (-115)
MLB AnalysisTwo reliable starters in the Cubs’ Cole Hamels and the Nationals’ Max Scherzer square off in our nation’s capital on Friday night in a game that features a pair of struggling lineups. All signs point toward an under.
Hamels hasn’t recorded a win in his last two outings against Washington, but his batting average against is a paltry .100 (12 2/3 innings). The usually-reliable third baseman Anthony Rendon has just five hits in 21 at-bats against the California native. The Nationals are 26th in runs scored this month (47).
Scherzer is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA and opponent batting average of .187 in his last five starts against the Cubs, who are 21st in batting average this month (.240). Third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Javier Baez are a combined 1-for-20 lifetime against the heterochromatic hurler.
Kansas City Royals (15-29) at Los Angeles Angels (20-23), 10:07 p.m. ET
MLB Free Play: Angels runlineBrad Keller (2-4, 4.47 ERA) (KC) +140 / +1.5 runs (-150) / Over 9.5 runs (-115) Matt Harvey (1-3, 6.69 ERA) (LAA) -155 / -1.5 runs (+125) / Under 9.5 runs (-105)
MLB AnalysisThe Angels are sizable favorites despite one of the worst starters in the American League, Matt Harvey, taking the mound for them. However, they look like a good bet on the runline, as Brad Keller and the dreadful Royals pay a visit to L.A. to start a three-game series on Friday night.
Harvey faced Kansas City on April 28 and had arguably his best outing of the year, going seven innings while allowing just two hits and three walks. Two of the Royals’ best hitters, second baseman Whit Merrifield and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, are a combined 1-for-12 against the erstwhile ace.
Keller has surrendered the most walks in the AL, 32, through nine starts (52 1/3 innings) and has struck out just 39 batters. L.A.’s lineup is the best in baseball at staying in at-bats, posting the fewest strikeouts of any team this season. Look for shortstop Andrelton Simmons (.346 average in May) and catcher Jonathan Lucroy (1.106 OPS in May) to post big performances in an Angels rout.
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