User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools
 
Preview: Cubs (43-60) at Nationals (56-47)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Nationals Park
Date: May 10, 2013 7:05 PM EDT
  

After a rough 2 1/2-week stretch, the Washington Nationals have picked up the pace thanks in part to a dominant bullpen.

The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, can't seem to solve their late-inning woes.

The Nationals try to extend their season-high winning streak to five when they open a three-game set against the visiting Cubs on Friday night.

After dropping 12 of 18 from April 12-30, Washington (19-15) has gone 6-1 this month following a two-game sweep of Detroit.

Relievers Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano combined for three scoreless innings during Thursday's 5-4 victory.

Advertisement

The Nationals' bullpen has been superb in May, throwing 15 shutout innings while allowing just 12 baserunners and striking out 11. Soriano, among the major league leaders with 12 saves, hasn't allowed a run in his last 12 innings, and Craig Stammen has thrown 9 2-3 straight scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts.

The Cubs (13-21), in contrast, saw their relief corps let another win slip away Wednesday, allowing two runs over the last three innings of a 5-4 loss to St. Louis.

"We just can't seem to shut anybody down in the sixth, seventh inning," manager Dale Sveum said. "We're getting two strikes on people, we just can't make a pitch when we have to."

Sveum's bullpen has a 6.75 ERA over the past nine games, giving up 25 hits and 17 walks while hitting five batters in 22 2-3 innings.

The Cubs, losers in five of seven overall, dropped to 5-8 in one-run games.

"It kind of speaks well for our team," reliever James Russell told MLB's official website. "We don't give up, and we're always in the game. If breaks fall our way, then we win a lot more games than we have right now."

That poor relief cost Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.09 ERA) a win Saturday. The right-hander surrendered four hits over six innings and left with a 4-2 lead before Carlos Marmol and Hector Rondon allowed four runs in the eighth during a 6-4 loss to Cincinnati.

Since winning on opening day, Samardzija has gone 0-4 over six outings while receiving 12 runs of support. He went 1-1 with a 1.15 ERA over two starts versus Washington last season, striking out 16 over 15 2-3 innings.

Samardzija must face a resurgent Adam LaRoche, 9 for 17 while hitting safely in six straight games. LaRoche, who was batting .129 before that streak, recorded his 10th RBI on Wednesday after leading the team with 100 last year.

"I like where he's at," manager Davey Johnson said before Wednesday's game. "I think he's seeing the ball better. His timing's coming around."

The same might be said of Alfonso Soriano, who hit .367 during Chicago's recently completed 10-game homestand. However, he's in a 1-for-16 slump on the road, where the Cubs have a major league-worst .207 average - including .140 with runners in scoring position.

Soriano, who hit a career-high 46 home runs and stole 41 bases in his only season with the Nationals in 2006, has hit .214 in his last eight games at Washington as the Cubs have gone 1-7.

The Nationals give the ball to Ross Detwiler (1-3, 2.50), who has a 4.50 ERA in losing a career worst-tying three consecutive starts. The left-hander has received one run of support during that skid, which includes a 3-1 defeat at Pittsburgh last Friday as he allowed three runs on a pair of homers in five-plus innings.

"I've seen him sharper," Johnson said. "He had trouble getting the ball down."

Scott Hairston is 5 for 9 with a homer and three doubles off Detwiler. Darwin Barney and Anthony Rizzo, though, are a combined 0 for 8.

Rizzo had his second three-hit effort in three games Wednesday and is batting .429 over his last 13.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Cubs at Nationals
Fri, May 10 Final 3 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Cubs at Nationals
Sat, May 11 Final 8 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Cubs at Nationals
Sun, May 12 Final 2 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CHC  +125   -180   7.5 
 WAS  -135   +160   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CHC  +125   -190   7.5 
 WAS  -135   +165   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CHC  23%   47%   53% 
 WAS  77%   53%   47% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, May 10
 
    Indians at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Cubs at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Pirates at Mets
7:10 PM EDT
    Brewers at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Padres at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Angels at White Sox
8:10 PM EDT
    Yankees at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Orioles at Twins
8:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Astros
8:10 PM EDT
    Rockies at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
    Phillies at Diamondbacks
9:40 PM EDT
    Athletics at Mariners
10:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
    Braves at Giants
10:15 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!