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Red Sox vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Value Lies on Total (Friday, July 1)

Red Sox vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Value Lies on Total (Friday, July 1) article feature image
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Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Vazquez & Alex Verdugo (Red Sox)

  • The Cubs will face off against the Red Sox on Friday in a clash between two of the most historic franchises in MLB.
  • Chicago will have Adrian Sampson on the hill while Boston will throw Rich Hill.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and explains why he's expecting a lot of runs.

Red Sox vs. Cubs Odds

Red Sox Odds -135
Cubs Odds +110
Over/Under 9
Time 2:20 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

On a potentially stormy Friday, the Chicago Cubs will host the Boston Red Sox in a clash of storied teams from different leagues.

The Cubs will pitch Adrian Sampson — who hasn’t had much experience at the big league level this season with only three outings — while the Red Sox will throw Rich Hill — whom the Cubbies drafted.

Both of these teams have had recent success against these types of pitchers. Sampson is a righty and the BoSox have a 113 wRC+ in June off of righties. Meanwhile, the Cubs boast an above-average 106 wRC+ off of southpaws.

This should be more than enough for the over, especially if a couple balls get advantageous gusts of wind at the notoriously hitter-friendly Wrigley Field.

Is Hill in Trouble for Red Sox?

Hill really excels at a few different things. One is inducing weak contact. This is due to his extreme usage of the curveball. His Average Exit Velocity against is 88.2 mph, which is in line with his past. Meanwhile, his Hard Hit Percentage also ranks in the 70th percentile.

However, outside of walking batters less than league average, Hill has had his troubles this season.

The Cubs are still without Seiya Suzuki and Nick Madrigal, but this should not impact them all too much against a pitcher like Hill.

Off of lefties, the Cubs have six hitters over a .322+ xwOBA. This should be more than enough to force Hill — who already does not go deep into games — to be out by the fifth inning.

Nelson Velázquez, who only has a small sample size, is averaging 111 mph off the bat in June against lefties on 20 pitches. He could very well be a welcomed addition to a terrible Cubs lineup.

That said, they should perform against Hill.

The Red Sox have plenty of pitching injuries. Matt Barnes and Josh Taylor are on the injured list out of the bullpen. They only have four bullpen arms under a 4.00 xFIP.

This will surely leave them short-handed after Hill exits the game because Tanner Houck cannot throw four innings.


Cubs Don’t Match Up Well With Opponent

Sampson has never displayed much of an arsenal. Last season, he feasted off of good fortune with a 2.80 ERA against a 4.95 xERA.

Those numbers will come back to earth, and he should have some poor outcomes with more opportunities this season.

The Red Sox have seven batters over a .322 xwOBA off of righties this month. Enrique Hernández is sidelined, but they have more than enough depth at the bottom of the lineup to power through and force Sampson out of this game.

Daniel Norris, Manuel Rodríguez and Ethan Roberts are on the IL for the Cubs. Otherwise, their relief corps has been similar to the Red Sox. They have a team 3.80 xFIP, but only five arms under a 4.00 mark.

Much of this is propped up by a few guys, and taking Sampson from the ‘pen and putting him in the rotation only hinders their pitching depth — even if he’s not the best pitcher.

The Red Sox will string together baserunners late.

Red Sox-Cubs Pick

Both of these teams hit these types of starting pitchers well. The Cubs and Red Sox each have a couple of injuries impacting their lineups, but Hill and Sampson will not perform well against their respective opponents.

Take the over from 8.5 (-110) and play it to 10 (-110).

Expect some late-inning runs, as well, thanks to the weaknesses at the backend of each bullpen.

Pick: Over 9.5 (-110) | play to 10 (-110)

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