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
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)