The Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs meet late Tuesday afternoon in Chicago. It is Game 4 of the NLDS with the Cubs holding a 2-1 series lead. A win today and the Cubs would move on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. My free MLB playoff pick for Tuesday is to take the Nationals and Cubs OVER 7.5 total runs.
In Washington’s Tanner Roark and Chicago’s Jake Arrieta, I see two slightly above average pitchers based on the advanced metrics I consider. Roark owns an 8.4% walk rate, as compared to 7.8% for Arrieta. Roark owns a 4.15 xFIP on the season, as compared to Arrieta’s 4.11 xFIP.
What catches my eye is that the Nationals average 5.5 runs in their road day games against righties, and the Cubs average 4.6 runs in their home day games against righties.
Both teams are above average against righties when you look at wRC+. Washington owns a 106 wRC+ versus righties, while the Cubs have produced a 102 wRC+ against righties.
Roark has made five road starts during the day this season when opposed by a righty. The Over was 4-1, and those five games went Over by an average of 4.9 runs per game. There were an average of 14 runs scored in those games.
Arrieta made four starts at home during the day this season when opposed by a righty. The Over was a perfect 4-0, and those games went Over by an average of 5.1 runs per contest. There were an average of 15.25 runs scored in those games.
Neither bullpen has been anything special over the last week. Washington’s pen owns a 4.41 xFIP, and the Cubs come in with an xFIP of 4.65 over the last seven days.
My Free MLB Playoff Pick is…
Over 7.5 in the Cubs / Nationals NLDS Game 4 on Tuesday. If even one starter falters, this game is likely to go Over. I expect at least one of them to do just that.