Stuckey and Lo Duca: Our Favorite Betting Angles for NL Wild-Card Game


USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Freeland and Jon Lester

Oct 02, 2018, 12:00 PM EDT

NL wild card betting odds: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs

  • Rockies Moneyline: +125 (Kyle Freeland)
  • Cubs Moneyline: -135 (Jon Lester)
  • Over/Under: 7.5 (+100/-120)
  • First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
  • Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 12 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

Paul Lo Duca:

The Rockies and Cubs both lost yesterday but in different ways. Colorado was absolutely shut down by Walker Buehler while Chicago was tied, 1-1, going into the eighth inning before Milwaukee got to the Cubs’ bullpen.

The bullpen is clearly Chicago’s Achilles heel right now, which means Lester will need to sparkle against the Rockies. There’s only one problem: Colorado’s lineup is built to smash lefties. The Rockies rank in the top three in wOBA (.324), home runs (74) and OPS (.798) against southpaws this season.

Lester has good surface-level numbers this season, but his underlying numbers suggest the 34-year-old has run hot in 2018. His xFIP (4.43) is a full run higher than his ERA (3.32). At some point, Lester’s luck will run out — and if he doesn’t get the bounces against this lineup, watch out.

Like Lester, Freeland also has fantastic back-of-the-baseball-card numbers. The 2014 first-round pick owns a 2.85 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 202.1 innings this year. Under the hood, though, there are a few red flags. Freeland averages only 7.70 strikeouts per 9 innings and issues 3.11 BB/9. Additionally, his 4.22 xFIP and .285 BABIP suggest he will regress.

The Cubs are a middle-of-the-road team against lefties, but Freeland isn’t going to overpower you with stuff.

I have a slight lean toward the Rockies at this price but will wait to see if the odds move. If it gets to +130, I’ll likely play Colorado — but my favorite play is on the total.

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