The Washington Nationals (12-18) have taken two of the first three games in their four-game series with the Chicago Cubs (15-15), with the finale coming on Thursday, May 4 at 1:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Washington opens the day in last place in the National League East with Chicago third in the NL Central. Jameson Taillon (0-2, 4.50 ERA) will be making his return from the IL for the Cubs, while the struggling Patrick Corbin (1-4, 5.74) goes for the Nats.
Chicago is a -210 moneyline favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, making the Nationals +180 underdogs. The over/under is set at nine. My last eight MLB moneyline and over/under picks have gone 7-1, so let’s make some picks.
Cubs-Nationals picks: Thursday, May 4
Out: C Yan Gomez (head), RP Brandon Hughes (knee), SP Kyle Hendricks (shoulder), RP Ethan Roberts (elbow), RP Codi Heuer (elbow)
Out: SP Chad Kuhl (foot), OF Corey Dickerson (calf), RP Victor Arano (shoulder), SP Cade Cavalli (elbow), SS Carter Kleboom (shoulder), C Israel Pineda (hand), RP Tanner Rainey (elbow), SP Stephen Strasburg (shoulder)
Jameson Taillon vs. Patrick Corbin
Taillon will be activated from the injured list for this game, and he hasn’t been on the mound since April 15 with a groin injury. He had his best start since joining the Cubs in that outing, throwing five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Corbin has allowed at least three runs in each of his six starts this spring as his struggles continue. Corbin received 31 starts in each of the last two seasons, finishing 2021 with a 5.82 ERA and 2022 with a 6.31 ERA.
This feels like a good time to go against the trend in a low-scoring series. None of the first three matchups went over six runs, but the Cubs bats should come out hot and do a lot of damage to this total in a strong matchup against Corbin. Additionally, it’s tough to know what to expect from Taillon, who hasn’t thrown in a few weeks.
Pick: Over 9
I’m not sure how you go into a bet needing a strong outing from Corbin, who has a massive sample size of struggles over the last few seasons, and he’s been consistent with those issues again in 2023. The Cubs rank second in on-base percentage (.345) this season, and they should have plenty of traffic on the basepaths.