Cubs vs. Tigers MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: How to Bet on Chicago (Friday, May 14)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Javier Baez.
- The Chicago Cubs will take on the Detroit Tigers in a Midwest MLB battle on Friday night.
- The Tigers are coming off a sweep of a division rival but remain one of the worst teams in baseball.
- That's why DJ James sees value on the Cubs, and he explains why in his full betting breakdown below.
Cubs vs. Tigers Odds
|Over/Under||9 (+100 / -121)|
|Time||7:10 p.m. ET|
After scoring only three runs in a two-game set against the weak-hitting Indians, Jake Arrieta and the Cubs look to straighten out against Tarik Skubal and the Tigers, who just swept the Royals.
The Tigers are riding a four-game winning streak, and even with those wins, they still rank last in the American League Central and last in all of baseball in run differential. This is usually indicative of future success. Will Detroit still continue that hot streak, or will the Cubs’ ace of old stand in the way?
The Cubs are about as league average as a team can be hitting the ball.
Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, and Anthony Rizzo have carried this lineup for the most part, but they can cause damage against a left-handed pitcher like Skubal.
The Cubs are slightly above average as a team off of lefties (104 wRC+) and get on base via the free pass relatively often (11.5% walk rate). Fortunately for them, Skubal walks 12.8% of batters and allows some of the most barrels in the league at 20.7%. Opponents absolutely demolish the ball against him.
He does pepper in a decent arsenal of pitches, but he is pretty predictable. He throws his four-seam fastball nearly 54% of the time. Baseball fans can see why he yields an xSLG of .611.
Javy Báez is hitting .300 in May. Nico Hoerner is also hitting very well. If the bottom half of the lineup can carry its weight, this may be a long day for Skubal.
The Cubs also boast a solid bullpen with a 3.46 combined ERA. With the off-day on Thursday, the big guns should be in use on Friday in a close matchup. However, given the variables above with the Cubs’ splits against lefties, the bullpen will just need to keep the lead intact.
Craig Kimbrel is back to himself. Andrew Chafin’s mustache is glorious, as is his 2.10 xERA and 53.5% ground-ball rate. If the Cubs can hand their strong bullpen a lead, the Tigers will be in trouble.
The Reds smoked Arrieta last time out, but since Detroit is one of the weakest teams in the league, he should find a way to get back on track.
As for the Tigers, they do not have much going for them in this matchup.
Skubal will more than likely take an early exit if the Cubs are mashing the ball. Detroit ranks dead last in combined bullpen ERA at 6.62. Gregory Soto and Michael Fulmer are their best options in relief, but if Skubal cannot reach at least the fifth inning, the Tigers are toast.
Like the Cubs, the Tigers’ lineup is a bit top-heavy. Robbie Grossman was a nice offseason addition, and Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario pull their weight. But Wilson Ramos being sidelined and rookie sensation Akil Baddoo cooling off since the end of April has hindered their very slim chances in the AL Central. Based on how this lineup matches up with Arrieta, that should not change in this one.
The Cubs look to bounce back from a tough showing against the Indians, and the Tigers are the perfect team to play in that endeavor.
Detroit’s short-handed and lacking lineup will not be able to hold its own versus Arrieta. Since the Cubs prefer to hit off of southpaws versus righties, Skubal will struggle early, and the Detroit ‘pen will do little to contain a Cub lineup ready to get back on track.
Back Chicago on the run line in this one because it could get out of hand quickly.
Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+110 | Play to -120)