Chicago Cubs @ Washington Nationals Matchup Preview - August 17th, 2022


Left-hander Drew Smyly is expected to start today for Chicago, while right-hander Cory Abbott gets the nod at home for Washington. Smyly enters this contest with a 3.69 ERA, backed up by a 4.26 FIP (which is a better measure of the things a pitcher can control). Abbott, meanwhile, has a 7.43 FIP underlying his 5.94 ERA. The last time Drew Smyly was on the bump, he recorded the win as the Cubs defeated the Reds 4-2. He left allowing 0 earned runs and recording 9 strikeouts with 2 walks. Abbott's last start was against the Padres, when he recorded the loss as the Nationals were defeated 5-10. Over 4 innings pitched, he allowed 3 earned runs with 4 hits. He also recorded 5 strikeouts with 3 walks.

Chicago Cubs Insights

  • Contrary to popular belief, fastballs are generally a pitcher's least effective pitch. Drew Smyly has gone to his secondary pitches 16.1% more often this season (68.6%) than he did last season (52.5%).

  • Extreme groundball batters like Willson Contreras usually hit better against extreme flyball pitchers like Cory Abbott.

  • Nick Madrigal has a 98th percentile opposite-field rate on his flyballs (41.6%) and has the good fortune of hitting them towards baseball's 10th-shallowest RF fences today.

Washington Nationals Insights

  • The Washington Nationals outfield defense grades out as the 5th-worst of all teams on the slate today.

  • Cesar Hernandez has primarily hit in the top-half of the lineup this year (84% of the time), but he is projected to bat 6th on the lineup card today.

  • The Washington Nationals have been the luckiest offense in MLB this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to hit worse going forward

Betting Trends

  • The Washington Nationals have hit the 1st Five Innings (F5) Total Over in 54 of their last 95 games (+12.95 Units / 12% ROI)

  • The Chicago Cubs have hit the Game Total Under in 34 of their last 63 games (+7.55 Units / 11% ROI)

  • Joey Meneses has hit the Hits Over in his last 9 games (+9.00 Units / 51% ROI)