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  • 10 April 2019
    The game between the Chicago Cubs and
    Washington Nationals was postponed Friday night after two rain delays totaling
    more than four hours. It was scoreless in the top of the second inning when it
    was called.The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 3:05 p.m.A
    thunderstorm delayed the start of the game 81
    minutes ,
    but the rain had stopped when play began. Heavy rain and lightning returned with
    two outs and nobody on in the top of the second inning.The rain eventually
    stopped as midnight approached, but the game was called after a wait of 2 hours,
    55 minutes.The rain spoiled the return of Washington Nationals pitcher Joe Ross,
    who was making his first major league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery
    in July of 2017. The 25-year-old Ross, whose fastball reached 97 mph, allowed a
    hit, hit a batter and had a strikeout.Jon Lester tossed a scoreless first inning
    for Chicago, giving up one hit.Earlier in the day, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was
    hopeful the teams would get the game in.“We want to play. We don’t want
    rainouts,” Maddon said. “It’s supposed to rain here for three days. We can plow
    through. We’ve done that already this year so many times.”“We’d rather plow
    through this than a doubleheader and a makeup game. We’re going through 23 in a
    row Brandon
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    , so we need to play this,” he said.The NL Central-leading
    Cubs are 12-5 in the first 17 games of 23 games in 23 days without a day
    off.Washington has lost three straight games and is 2-5 on their 10-game
    homestand against NL Central teams.TRAINER’S ROOMCubs: RF Ben Zobrist was
    scratched from the lineup due to neck stiffness.Nationals: LHP Sean Doolittle
    (stress reaction, left foot) was reinstated from the disabled list. The
    Nationals closer missed 54 games. . RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right wrist sprain)
    threw a 50-pitch simulated game and will throw a bullpen session Sunday.UP
    NEXTCubs LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 1.00 with Chicago) and RHP Max Scherzer (16-6,
    2.28) were scheduled to duel for the second time in a month in Saturday night’s
    game. Neither got a decision on Aug. 12 when David Bote’s grand slam off Ryan
    Madson in the bottom of the ninth won it for Chicago 4-3. Hamels is 16-9 with a
    2.63 ERA in 36 career starts versus Washington, while Scherzer is 3-1, 2.45 in
    seven starts against the Cubs. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released MVP
    odds for the American and National League for the 2019 season on Wednesday.
    Favored in the AL is obviously Mike Trout at +200, followed by the reigning
    winner, Mookie Betts, at +500.Bryce Harper is favored in the National League at
    +600 ,
    with Nolan Arenado right behind him at +700.On Wednesday, the Westgate Las Vegas
    SuperBook released odds for the 2019 MLB major awards. At the time, Bryce Harper
    remained unsigned, but was still the National League favorite, anyway. Just one
    day later, he signed with the Phillies.2019 MLB Cheat Sheet: Betting Previews
    for All 30 Teams, Futures, Props, Picks and AnalysisRead nowBettors will have a
    full month to make up their minds and determine where the value lies. At this
    point, I believe Westgate has released all of the MLB futures for the 2019
    season. The rest of the market is still lagging
    behind ,
    but now that the Harper fiasco is over, I imagine they will catch up
    soon.American League MVPOf course, Mike Trout is favored to bring home the
    hardware at a short 2-1 payout. Every year, AL MVP bettors have to ask
    themselves whether it’s even worth betting or not thanks to Trout’s dominance.
    In his seven full seasons, he’s won two MVPs, finished second four times and
    finished fourth in an injury-shortened 2017.Last year, Mookie Betts managed to
    out-Trout Trout by posting a ridiculous 10.4 fWAR— a better all-around season
    than Trout has ever had. He was listed between 20-1 and 25-1 before that season
    and has dropped down to 5-1 for his troubles.>> Sign up for The Action
    Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest conversation delivered into your
    inbox each morning.The next tier includes Aaron Judge, Alex Bregman and Jose
    Ramirez. Judge was injured for a chunk of the 2018 season, but has 50-home run
    potential and a solid glove in right field.Bregman broke out with a very
    impressive 7.6 fWAR last year and was the fifth best hitter in baseball per wRC+
    at 157. Ramirez is coming off his second consecutive season in which he finished
    third in the MVP race, but oddsmakers continue to doubt him considering his 18-1
    price.National League MVPThe recently signed Bryce Harper is favored in the
    National League at
    +600 Mark
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    , but the race is expected to be more of a toss-up
    considering there’s no NL version of Trout.Of his potential suitors, Harper
    signing with the Phillies probably gives him the best shot of winning the NL
    MVP. He no longer has the defensive or baserunning abilities that he did when he
    first entered the league, and must rely on gaudy offensive numbers to win this
    award. Had he signed with the Giants or Dodgers, he’d have to hit in west coast
    pitcher-friendly parks. Instead, he makes his home at the launching pad in
    Philly.Right behind him is Nolan Arenado, who just inked an extension with the
    Rockies. Arenado has had four consecutive top-10 MVP finishes, but is seemingly
    always hurt by the fact he plays at Coors Field.The newest Cardinal, Paul
    Goldschmidt, is next at 10-1. Despite having the third most fWAR since 2013,
    he’s never won an MVP. He has two second place finishes and a third place to his
    name Deion
    Sanders Jersey
    , but could be in a nice spot with his new team in a
    competitive division.You may notice that Christian Yelich, the reigning MVP
    winner, is all the way down at 18-1. He was a 200-1 long shot last year and took
    home the hardware thanks to an electric September that helped the Brewers win
    the NL Central. However, his home run total seems unsustainable thanks to a
    ridiculous home run to fly ball ratio.Stay tuned in the coming weeks for value
    picks and analysis for both MVP and Cy Young awards.
  • 25 April 2019
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