Washington @ Chicago: Nationals great value to win at the home of the Cubs

Tanner Roark will be pitching for the Nationals tonight in a must-win game
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In what is turning out to be a low-scoring and extremely tight series the team at AccuScore believe there is plenty of value in backing the Washington Nationals ahead of Game 4 versus the Chicago Cubs...

"On the Betfair Exchange there's currently excellent value for the away win. Nationals have their back against the wall and they're in a must-win situation."

Washington Nationals @ Chicago Cubs
Tuesday 10 October, 22:35 BST

Reigning champions Chicago Cubs hold all the cards heading to the fourth game of the best-of-five series against the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals had the home advantage, but dropped the ball in the first game and got shut down by Kyle Hendricks in a 0-3 loss. They bounced back in the second issue in Washington, tying the score with a 6-3 win. The Cubs however took the spoils in game three, after two late runs was enough to secure the close 2-1 victory.

Tonight the Cubs will send out their ace Jake Arrieta for the first time in this year's post-season. Arrieta started 30 games in regular season, going 14-10 with an ERA of 3.53. He has been solid in playoffs during his career, starting seven games with 4-2 record and close to regular season average ERA 3.64. The 31-year-old has suffered from right hamstring pain and was pushed to start game 4 instead of the earlier issues. It might turn out to be a short outing for Arrieta.

The Nationals will give the nod to Tanner Roark, who'll make his second career post-season start. He took a loss in the first one last season, when Dodgers pounded seven hits and two runs during his 4 1/3 innings.

Roark, however, has improved as the season progressed boasting an ERA of 3.90 and batting average against of .223 for the second half of the season. He started 30 games altogether, with a record of 13-11 and ERA of 4.67.

So far the series has been controlled by the pitchers on both sides. With only 15 runs in three games, it is by far the lowest scoring series in the post-season so far - each of the teams still in contest have scored more individually than these two teams combined. Expect nothing less from the game four as the stakes are getting higher.

Betfair odds

Current market on the Exchange favours the home team, with odds of [1.68] for backing Cubs to win. The visiting Nationals are available to back at [2.38].

Accuscore Analysis

In Accuscore simulations, Chicago Cubs are the most likely winners but with only a slight margin. They win 50.4% of the simulations while the Nationals win 49.6%.

Value bets should be placed for Cubs when the odds reach [1.98] and for Washington Nationals with odds of [2.02] or better. On the Betfair Exchange there's currently excellent value for the away win. Nationals have their back against the wall and they're in a must-win situation.

According to simulations, the batters finally find their stride after struggling especially in game 1 & 3. In simulations the Cubs score on average 4.9 runs and the Nationals 4.8. Both of the starters allow on average 3.0 runs in five innings, with Arrieta striking out 7.2 and Roark 6.5 batters. The Cubs' relievers give the edge of 0.1 for the home team, but it is as close as it gets.

None of the batters have excelled so far in the series, but the most likely to succeed for the Cubs are Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras, while Nationals rely on Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon. Harper leads the scoring in simulations with an average of 0.86 runs, while the rest of top bats remain at ~0.70 level.

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