MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions for Guardians vs. Cubs
Pictured: Justin Steele. (Photo by Flor Tan Jun/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Guardians vs. Cubs Odds
Justin Steele is one of the best pitchers in the National League. He and the Chicago Cubs will take on the Cleveland Guardians in a Friday matinee at Wrigley Field. Cal Quantrill, who has had a subpar season, will get the ball for the Guardians. He doesn't permit a ton of hard contact, but rarely gets batters to chase and doesn't strikeout many.
The Cubs should come away with a victory here.
Quantrill owns a 5.84 xERA against a 5.61 ERA. His walk rate and his Average Exit Velocity have both ticked up since 2022 and he ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of allowing hard contact. He also only strikes out 12.8% of hitters and has a 7.5% walk rate. He has given up 14 earned runs over his past two starts (8 1/3 innings), so he's not in great form and those negative trends could continue against the Cubs.
Additionally, the Guardians haven't hit lefties well this month. They own a 98 wRC+ with a .713 OPS, though those numbers will surely drop against Steele. Cleveland does have five hitters with a xwOBA over .330 off southpaws this season, though David Fry and Bo Naylor won't play at the same time.
In relief, the Guardians haven't been sharp and have a 4.35 xFIP, which ranks 20th in the league this month. If Quantrill struggles, the Guardians are in trouble.
Steele has been fantastic upon his return to the rotation. He owns an Average Exit Velocity of 85.1 mph and a 30.8% Hard Hit Rate. His strikeout rate (22.2%) doesn't blow anyone away, but he's only walking 5.7% of hitters and boasts a 2.62 ERA with a 3.15 xERA.
Justin Steele's 6th, 7th and 8th Ks.
And is fired up. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xvP75Cb38J
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 24, 2023
The Cubs have a 91 wRC+ off of righties in June, so this bet is more of an indictment on Quantrill than a vote of confidence in Chicago. The Cubs are walking over 9% of the time, but have only four hitters with a xwOBA over .330 against right handers this season.
The Cubs bullpen has been pretty good, except for a few hiccups. They have a 4.08 xFIP in June, but every active member of the 'pen has a sub-4.00 xFIP. Steele is certainly capable of going deep in this game, but the Cubs also have numerous options once he departs.
Guardians vs. Cubs Betting Pick
Steele and the Cubs have a clear edge in this game as neither Quantrill nor the Cleveland bullpen inspire confidence. Backing the better pitching staff is the correct play here Take this from -145 to -165.
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