MLB Odds & Picks: Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs Preview (Tuesday, Sept. 15)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs.
Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Odds
|Indians Odds||+135 [Bet Now]|
|Cubs Odds||-157 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (+100/-118) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||8:15 p.m. ET|
With just 13 games left in the season, now is probably not the best time for the Cleveland Indians to embark on a six-game losing streak. Cleveland will look to end its slide at Wrigley Field with a matchup against the Chicago Cubs.
These teams faced off twice this season the Cubs won both games outscoring Cleveland 14-3. The Cubs will send out ace Yu Darvish, who likely will be in a foul mood after losing for just the second time this season in his last outing. Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco who has recorded a quality start in his past three games, but hasn’t picked up a favorable decision.
The Indians’ offensive woes didn’t just start with this six-game slide. The signs have actually been there for much of the season. Cleveland ranks 26th in the league with a wRC+ rating of 83 and 28th in the league with a .364 SLG percentage. As a team they’re hitting .227 on the year and they’ve hardly performed better with a .231 average with runners in scoring position.
The Indians’ past seven games are even worse as they’re hitting just .218 during this time with a wRC+ rating of 65. They’re even struggling to put the ball in to play as evidenced by their strikeout rate of 25.8%.
Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a team in this kind of a funk would get anything going tonight against Darvish who this season is averaging 11.57 strikeouts per nine innings.
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Yu Darvish has racked up seven wins in nine starts this season while posting a 1.77 ERA along with a 2.26 FIP and 0.88 WHIP. He’s been utterly brilliant this season and despite picking up a loss in his last outing, he still recorded a quality start as he went six innings and allowed three runs on just two hits.
As a matter of fact, the three runs all came on one home run in the first inning. Darvish has factored in the decision in each of his nine starts and he’s yet to have consecutive losses this season.
The Cubs have had their struggles offensively, though. These two teams are actually tied for the same batting average (.227), but the Cubs’ slugging percentage is 0.4 points higher. The truth is that both teams are actually quite similar offensively until you get to the power numbers, where the Cubs have a significant edge.
The Cubs have hit 62 home runs this season, which is 17 more than the Indians. Sometimes when you’re struggling, a bloop and a blast can make all the difference between a win and a loss. As a result, the Cubs look to be the better team in creating their own luck right now.
For tonight’s matchup, my model makes the Cubs -159 moneyline favorites. I was already leaning toward the Cubs in this spot as I’m always looking to back a quality pitcher like Darvish who is in form and coming off a loss.
This is not a knock or fade of Carrasco. I just think the Cubs look to be the more likely team to get the big hit in this game. I rarely like laying a price that is higher than -140, so I’ll look to risk a half unit on the alternate run line with the Cubs tonight.
At BetRivers, you can grab the Cubs at -1 (-117) and that price is much more palatable for me to stomach. I’d play that number up to -125.
The Bet: Cubs ALT RL -1 (117 at 0.5 units)