Cubs vs Rangers Picks Today | MLB Odds on Friday, April 7
Bailey Orr/Texas Rangers/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Seager
- The Chicago Cubs host the Texas Rangers in a Friday afternoon MLB affair at Wrigley Field.
- Nathan Eovaldi gets the start for Texas, while Chicago turns to its top pitcher, right-hander Marcus Stroman.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Rangers vs. Cubs Odds
+100 / -120
+100 / -120
The Texas Rangers take on the Chicago Cubs in a Friday afternoon matchup on Apple TV. The Rangers send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to face off against Marcus Stroman in what should be a cold and windy afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The books have already pulled their exceptionally juicy totals, which opened at nine and got hammered fast. As of writing, only FanDuel has a total back up, and that number is now two full runs lower.
Given the solid pitching matchup, in addition to the cold weather and wind blowing in, that quick change makes sense.
Despite the likely low run-scoring environment, there’s a player prop I’m eyeing as my best play for this game.
Corey Seager was one of several players I gave out as a preseason MVP pick, so it’s probably not shocking to see his name here. He’s done very little this season on the surface, but there isn’t much reason to worry.
With a .217/.296/.217 slash line, Seager has a .513 OPS, which is lower than Madison Bumgarner’s career OPS … so yeah, not great.
BUT! Like I said, there’s no reason to fret. Seager’s barrel rate is actually higher than it was last season, and matches perfectly with his barrel rate from his .307/.358/.585 season in 2020.
Seager’s max exit velocity has already topped any he had last season, his hard-hit percentage is the highest of his career and his walk rate is also nearly peak. I could go on …
The point is, it’s a tiny sample size. So, let’s work with our prior knowledge that Seager is an excellent player likely to be a bit undervalued in the market because he was unlucky last season and is off to a slow start this season.
With changes to shift rules, there’s reason to believe some of the bad luck that resulted from his heavy pull rate should be slightly alleviated.
Seager will face Stroman, who got the Cubs off on the right foot this season with a win on Opening Day. Stroman looked strong, but Seager will prove a tough matchup.
Stroman threw either a fastball or slider with 81.1% of his Opening Day pitches — pretty close to his 2022 usage rates for those two pitches (73.6%).
Even in a down season, Seager posted a .456 xwOBA (an xwOBA around .320 is league average) against fastballs and sliders from right-handed pitchers.
Here’s the list of players with a better xwOBA against right-handed fastballs and sliders: Yordan Alvarez and Aaron Judge.
Simply put, Stroman’s tendencies play right into Seager’s strengths.
Rangers vs. Cubs Betting Pick
As of writing, no book has posted Seager’s total bases yet, but his last outing came against Grayson Rodriguez and bettors were able to get over 1.5 at +120. The market might respect Rodriguez and the Orioles bullpen a touch more than the Cubs, but given the aforementioned weather, I’d project an opening line to be in that same area again.
I would play Seager’s over 1.5 total bases all the way to -105.
Pick: Seager Over 1.5 Total Bases
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