Red Sox vs Cubs Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, July 14
Pictured: Brayan Bello. (Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images)
Red Sox vs. Cubs Odds
The Red Sox look to continue their surge toward the final American League Wild Card spot as they kick off the second half of the season against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Boston has won five straight games and is priced as a -134 favorite with Brayan Bello on the mound (3.04 ERA, 80 IP).
Chicago sits seven games back of Cincinnati in the National League Central and has just a 9.8% chance of making the playoffs, according to FanGraphs.
Should the Cubs become sellers prior to the trade deadline, Kyle Hendricks (3.04 ERA, 53.1 IP) would be an enticing add.
That means this start against the Red Sox could be one of his final home starts as a Cub.
Bello was one of Boston's better stories in the first half and enters this matchup with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP over his past 34 2/3 innings.
He's had some favorable luck, but his expected rates still improved during his recent run of dominance. On the season, he owns a 3.93 xFIP and a 4.00 xERA.
Bello has allowed just a 17% line-drive rate this season, which is the second-best mark in baseball among pitchers who have thrown over 35 innings.
Bello's changeup has developed into an effective pitch as opponents own a .213 xSLG against the pitch and also swing and miss on 43% of changeups.
The Red Sox offense has been on fire lately as they own a 105 wRC+ over the past 30 days.
Hendricks will certainly be a name to watch as the trade market heats up. The 33-year-old right hander has a 3.81 xERA and a 4.79 xFIP across 53 1/3 innings.
The veteran has effectively pitched to soft contact, but it still seems unlikely his 3.04 ERA will hold. He owns a strikeout rate of just 14.9% and a Stuff+ rating of 61. His four seamer sits at just 87 mph and has been crushed to the tune of a .740 xSLG.
The Cubs will be without Dansby Swanson for this contest as he's not eligible to return until July 16. Swanson's absence hurts an offense that has just a 97 wRC+ over the past 30 days.
The Cubs wRC+ of 94 versus right-handed pitching this season ranks 19th in baseball, and their 23.6% strikeout clip is the eighth highest.
Red Sox vs. Cubs Betting Pick
The Red Sox are fielding an offense with superior talent, have hit right-handed pitching well and will provide a tough challenge for Hendricks.
This line is disrespectful to Bello, who could potentially put together a better second half than Hendricks and is being backed by a significantly better offense.
Anything better than -130 is a play for me.
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