MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers (Monday, Aug. 24)

Credit:

Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Alec Mills

  • 2018 No. 1 pick Casey Mize takes the mound for the Detroit Tigers on Monday as they face the visiting Chicago Cubs.
  • Betting odds have the Cubs favored at -127, and the total for the game is set at 9.5. Right-hander Alec Mills is projected to start for Chicago.
  • Read Michael Arinze's full analysis and find out how he's betting Tigers vs. Cubs below.

Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers Betting Odds

Cubs Odds -127 [Bet Now]
Tigers Odds +108 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9.5 (-118/-104) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Monday at 3 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Interleague play continues Monday night for the Cubs as they head to Detroit to take on a Tigers team that just snapped a 20-game losing streak against their divisional foe, the Cleveland Indians. While the Tigers were no doubt celebrating their accomplishments, the Cubs needed a vintage Yu Darvish performance on Sunday to avoid a sweep at the hands of the White Sox in the Crosstown Classic.

Emotions were likely on a high for both teams over the weekend so today’s matchup could be a bit ho-hum early on without the presence of the rivalries that surrounded their previous series.

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Detroit Tigers

Detroit’s top prospect, Casey Mize, will make his first start at Comerica Park tonight.

The Tigers drafted Mize with the first overall pick in 2018 and two years later he’s been called up to the show. He wasn’t given much time to settle in when he was tipped to make his debut against a White Sox team that has one of the more potent lineups in all of baseball, but the Detroit right-hander didn’t appear to be too fazed by the moment. He pitched into the fifth inning while giving up three runs but also striking out seven batters, and his teammates took him off the hook for the loss when they plated two runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game.

With this being only his second start, I would naturally prefer to have more data on Mize to sift through, just as I’m sure a hitter would prefer to have a few at bats against him before stepping into the batter’s box.

Oftentimes this unfamiliarity is something that can work to a pitcher’s advantage, at least in their first turn through the lineup.

Chicago Cubs

Mize will be opposed by Cubs right-hander, Alec Mills. Mills was 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA heading into his last start and had his worst performance of the season.

He gave up six runs in just 3.2 innings against the Cardinals. Mills was undone by a first inning grand slam which he and the Cubs never seemed to recover from in their 9-3 loss.

Mills is now 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA but his WHIP is still above average at 1.10. Batters are only hitting .207 against him and .219 on balls put in play. 51.5% of those batted balls are hit on the ground and Mills’s 1.62 GB/FB ratio is .07 points higher than that of last season.

Like Mize, this will be the first time he faces off against the opponent and he’ll be looking to make some adjustments after his rocky start last time out.

Betting Analysis

You can probably already tell where I’m headed with this one. This game has a first inning under written all over it. We’ve got two pitchers facing the opposing team for the first time with each club coming off a highly intense series over the weekend.

The hitters could start the game a bit timid as they look to study the opposing pitcher’s tendencies early in the ballgame.

In 27 games this season the Cubs have scored in the first inning seven times (25.9%) while in 26 games the Tigers have scored in the first inning just five times (19.2%).

We’ll need to use some algebra and dust off those probability exercises to determine the likelihood against at least one of the teams scoring in the first inning.

First, we must subtract both percentages above from 1 to determine separately each team’s probability of not scoring in the first inning. We then multiply both results together to determine the likelihood of both teams not scoring. If you’re still with me, you should get ~59.87%.

If we punch that number into the Action Network Odds Value Calculator with the DraftKings listed odds of +102 along with the amount of our wager, we’ll get an expected value for our bet.

In this case, the expected value is $20.94 on a $100 bet.

In short, if we made this same play an infinite amount of times, we should come out ahead in the long run and that’s more than enough to get me to the window.

Let’s hope the hitters’ lack of familiarity with both pitchers works to our advantage.

Give me the under in the first inning for a half-unit.

The PICK: First Inning Under 0.5 (+102) [Bet the under at +112 with a 10% profit boost at DraftKings (now online in Illinois!)]

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