The Chicago Cubs (50-55) and Washington Nationals (48-55) will continue their three-game set on Saturday at Nationals Park, with the first pitch of the second game scheduled for 7:05 pm. ET. Let’s analyze BetMGM Sportsbook’s lines around the Cubs vs. Nationals odds with MLB picks and predictions.

Washington beat Chicago 4-3 in the series opener on Friday when the Nationals started RHP Paolo Espino , allowed only 1 earned run over 5 1/3 innings of work and Washington’s bullpen held the Cubs rally in the late inning. RHP Kyle Hendricks is Chicago’s scheduled starter. Hendricks is 12-4 with 3.85 ERA (121 2/3 IP, 52 ER), 1.31 WHIP, 1.8 BB / 9 and 6.7 K / 9 in 21 starts.

RHP Joe Ross starts for the 18th time for the Nationals. Ross is 5-8 with 3.80 ERA (92 1/3 IP, 39 ER), 1.19 WHIP, 2.9 BB / 9 and 9.3 K / 9 this year.

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MLB odds courtesy of BetMGM; Visit USA TODAY Sports for a full list. The odds were last updated at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Uh, you know? The Cubs Nationals game on Saturday is similar to an NBA Minnesota Timberwolves game against the Detroit Pistons in mid-April. Both teams dumped a lot of talent at the close of trading and are in recovery mode.

That being said, Hendricks is the unique selling point in this matchup and offers a value for the CUBS (100) FIRST 5 INNINGS. Though it’s been a lost year in Chicago, Hendricks is still a top of the rotation guy who is considered part of the future of the Cubs.

Also, Ross was terrible at home and he’s got an opposition ops from 0.798 in Washington compared to an opponent’s OPS of 0.624 on the street.

However, I’m sticking with the CUBS (100) FIRST 5 INNINGS because Chicago traded its three best bullpen arms at close of trade and the Cubs reliever have the fifth worst FIP ​​after the All-Star Break.

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Easily “LEAN” to CUBS -1.5 (165) for a tiny stake because it’s a chunky payout. Hendricks is so much better than Ross and Washington’s bullpen is even worse in the second half than Chicago’s so far.

BET on OVER 8 (-105) for 1 unit because there is a “sharp line” in the direction of the over has, since the sum opened at 7.5 before ramping up to the current number.

As noted, Washington’s bullpen has the highest after the All-Star Break with the lowest left-on-base percentage FIP and home run rates per nine-inning rate.

The Nationals also parted ways with two of their best bullpen arms at close of trade, former close Brad Hand and emergency helper Daniel Hudson.

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