Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, Sept. 16)
Ron Schwane/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Rizzo and Carlos Santana
- Betting odds for Wednesday's Indians vs. Cubs MLB matchup have the Indians listed as slight -118 favorites, with the Cubs at +102 and the over/under at 8.5.
- Aaron Civale takes the mound for the Indians, while a struggling Jon Lester will go for Chicago, and both will be helped by some Wrigley wind.
- Check out our full betting preview for the matchup, including a pick on the over/under, below.
Indians vs. Cubs Odds
|Indians Odds||-118 [Bet Now]|
|Cubs Odds||+102 [Bet Now in Illinois!]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-106/-115) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||8:15 p.m. ET|
The Cubs will go for the season sweep of the Indians when they meet for the final time tonight at Wrigley Field. The Indians are currently on a seven-game skid and they’ll hope right-hander, Aaron Civale, can be their streak stopper tonight. Civale will be opposed by Jon Lester as Chicago aims for its second four-game winning streak.
Yesterday’s game was certainly an interesting one as much of the betting action wasn’t decided until the very last inning of play. The Cubs blew the run line in the ninth after a Francisco Lindor two-run home run made it a 5-5 ballgame. That home run was also bad news for under bettors as the total closed at 8.5 for the game.
With games at Wrigley Field you had better keep one eye on the weather report. Tonight’s matchup calls for winds blowing in from left field at 9-11 mph. When you add into the mix the Indians performance against left-handed pitchers, and this being the Cubs first time facing Civale, I think we have the foundation for an under play here.
Civale Can Bounce Back
Aaron Civale enters tonight’s game with a 3-5 record, a 3.88 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. His 3.41 FIP, which is lower than his ERA, suggests that he’s been a bit unlucky this season by about a half run. Civale has done well to limit free passes to first base. He has a 1.55 BB/9 ratio, and has kept the ball in the park as evidenced by his 1.09 HR/9 ratio.
Outside of a few starts, Civale has been able to limit the opposition to three runs or fewer per game this season. And when he’s had less-than-stellar performances, he’s been able to rebound with positive outings in his next appearance.
Figure this — in Civale’s two outings this season following a start where he’s given up at least four earned runs, he’s allowed a total of three runs in 15 innings. That lines up with tonight’s game as Civale gave up four earned runs to the Royals in his last start, which resulted in an 11-1 Kansas City win.
Windy Conditions Give Lester a Boost
It hasn’t been the best year for Jon Lester. He’s 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. I wish I could say that Lester’s advanced numbers suggest that better days are ahead, but with a 5.10 FIP and 5.05 xFIP, perhaps what you see is what you get from the 36-year old right-hander.
Lester’s biggest issue this season has been the long ball. He’s allowing almost two home runs per nine innings and given his ERA and FIP, my guess is those home runs have led to some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. That has to be the only explanation because Lester’s overall numbers are not terrible.
Batters are hitting only .263 against him along with a .285 BABIP. Note that while his BABIP does look to be decent, home runs are excluded from that stat. But if we look at other metrics, such as his 15.3 HR/FB ratio, we find that it’s actually the second-highest in his career.
The Indians will look to stack their right-handed batters against Lester, but hitters looking to pull the ball will have to navigate the wind as it blows in from left field.
I’m not afraid to go back to the under after watching it go up in flames last night. There are a number of data points that suggest this game can fall below the total. While it’s clear that Cleveland has been in a funk overall, its numbers are worse when facing a left-handed pitcher.
The Indians are hitting .225 against lefties compared to .230 vs. righties. They also have a lower OBP of .300 compared to .324 against right-handers. Their slugging percentage is also lower at .354 vs. .372.
The wind blowing in from left field will certainly be a factor for right-handed hitters and for Cubs hitters, they’ll be stepping into the batters box for the first time against Aaron Civale. I like Civale to make the necessary adjustments and bounce back nicely from a poor start just as he’s done all season.
Here are some situational queries to consider going in to this matchup: The Indians are 6-0 to the under their last six games when on a losing streak of seven or more games. Lester is also 7-0 to the under in his last seven starts against Cleveland, and this season the Indians are 8-2 to the under when facing a left-handed pitcher.
With both teams having to navigate the wind tonight and Cleveland facing another lefty, I think we have sufficient reasoning to make a play under the total.
DraftKings is currently offering the total at 8.5, and I’ll risk a half unit in my bankroll that this ballgame stays under the number tonight.
The Pick: Under 8.5 (risking .5 unit) [Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]