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Jul 05, 2018
Post subject: A key series between two National League Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:25 am
playoff contenders will start Friday at Wrigley Field when the Chicago Cubs (66-4Cool host the Washington Nationals (59-56) as solid home favorites at the sportsbooks.The Cubs lead the NL Central by two games over the Milwaukee Brewers Matt Adams Jersey , while the Nationals are chasing the Atlanta Braves for the league's second wild-card spot in the NL East. MLB betting line: The Cubs opened as -145 favorites (wager $145 to win $100), according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.6-4.5, Cubs (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.Why the Nationals can pay on the MLB linesWashington was seemingly out of the playoff race until going 10-5 over the team's last 15 games to get back over the .500 mark. The Nationals were also hoping to gain some ground on the Braves earlier this week but ended up splitting a four-game set at home, capped by a 6-3 victory on Thursday.The Nationals will now count on veteran starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (5-2, 3.56 ERA) to help them open their fifth consecutive series with a win. Alex Brandon/Associated PressThe 31-year-old is coming off a victory against the Cincinnati Reds last Saturday, allowing two runs on two solo home runs as part of four hits overall in 5.2 innings. Why the Cubs can pay on the MLB linesChicago will counter Hellickson with a hot Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 4.07 ERA) http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-kevin-long-jersey , who will be going for his third straight victory. The Cubs are 4-1 in the previous five starts for the 28-year-old, and he has given up three runs or less in six of his past seven outings.Known for performing well at Wrigley, the righty has a 4-6 mark and 3.75 ERA in 12 starts there this season, with opposing batters hitting .237 against him. Between 2015 and 2017, Kendricks went 15-8 with a 2.56 ERA at Wrigley as well, so home field has been an advantage for him and his teammates when has been on the mound.Smart betting pickThese teams have alternated wins and losses in the past 10 meetings, including last year's NL Division Series matchup. Chicago topped Washington 3-2 despite not having the home-field edge, and this will be the first time they square off this season.However, the Cubs are 6-3 in the previous nine games played versus the Nationals at Wrigley http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-joaquin-benoit-jersey , according to the OddsShark MLB Database, and that will be the difference here. MLB betting trendsWashington is 7-16 SU in its last 23 games on the road.The total has gone under in 11 of Washington's last 16 games on the road.The total has gone under in four of Chicago's last five games.All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app. Stephen Brashear/Getty ImagesVeteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will be part of the Seattle Mariners' active roster when the team plays the Oakland Athletics in Japan, MLB.com's Greg Johns reported Tuesday.Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said the team will "presumably" only include Ichiro on the squad for the two-game Japan Series. Seattle and Oakland are allowed 28 players on the active roster for the series, compared to the 25-man limit for normal regular-season games.Ichiro played 15 games for the Mariners in 2018, his last appearance coming in the team's 3-2 defeat to the A's on May 2. A day later, Seattle agreed to a special arrangement with the 44-year-old in which he unofficially remained a member of the team without counting as an active player.His agent told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal in May he wasn't officially retiring and that playing in the Japan Series remained an option. Dipoto told reporters Tuesday the team is planning on having him at spring training as well, per Johns:"Ichi will be in spring training with us, and we're going to give him an opportunity as both a coaching presence and a player presence. We're still a long way off from Opening Day next year Ryan Zimmerman Jersey , but you will see Ichiro taking at-bats in Peoria, and we'll assess where we are at that time. But don't be surprised if you see him running around out there when we get to Tokyo next year early in the season."Having Ichiro play in Japan would be a nice moment. Beyond that, it's hard to see how he could maintain an on-field role with the Mariners.In his 18th season, he batted .205 before Seattle shut him down for the year. As a member of the Miami Marlins in 2017, he had a .255/.318/.332 slash line and was worth minus-0.1 WAR, per FanGraphs.The Japan Series could at least give fans one more opportunity to see Ichiro in a Mariners jersey before he calls it a career.
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