Red Sox vs Cubs Odds, Picks | MLB Betting Guide

Red Sox vs Cubs Odds, Picks | MLB Betting Guide article feature image

Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: James Paxton (Red Sox)

Red Sox vs. Cubs Odds

Saturday, July 15
2:20 p.m. ET
Red Sox Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-120 / +110
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-120 / +110
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Marcus Stroman is the ace of the Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff, but if they don't make movements in the NL Central, he could yield a pretty sizable haul for them via trade.

He'll have his hands full on Saturday against a Boston Red Sox lineup that has fared relatively well against right-handed pitching lately.

His opponent on the mound will be James Paxton, who's somehow having an even more impressive season than Stroman is.

Since Boston’s bullpen has been better, and with some key injuries to the Cubs’ lineup, backing the Red Sox as underdogs on the road is the correct call here.

Boston Red Sox

Paxton has been fantastic and looks like he did when he was a Cy Young contender from year-to-year. In 56 innings pitching this season, he owns a 2.73 ERA against a 3.15 xERA, which is pretty good for a guy who didn't pitch a full season since 2019.

His walk rate is only 6.4%, while his strikeout rate is 29.1%, so this is top of the line. His average exit velocity ranks in the middle of the pack, but his hard-hit rate is in the 68th percentile.

He's missing bats and avoiding hard contact the majority of the time. This is a recipe for success.

The Boston bats have been well above average off of righties since July 1. They own a .124 OPS and a slash line of .305/.356/.478. In the last month, they have eight bats above a .320 xwOBA, seven of which are above .350.

This means that Stroman might have a challenging day ahead of him. Masataka Yoshida, Triston Casas and Rafael Devers are all above .375 in the last month, so these would be the bats to be aware of.

Masataka Yoshida with his 18th double of the season.

— Beyond the Monster (@BeyondtheMnstr) July 6, 2023

In relief, Boston hasn't necessarily had the most dynamic appearances, but they're better than the Cubs since July 1. The Sox hold a 4.24 xFIP with five arms below a 4.00 xFIP.

The middle relief options have had some trouble with control, but since Paxton rarely walks hitters, these relievers will not see this game, unless something out of the ordinary happens.

Chicago Cubs

Stroman is a Cy Young candidate this year for a reason. He has a 2.96 ERA, but his xERA indicates a little negative regression at 3.81. This is still a solid number, but it's mainly because of an average exit velocity of 90 mph and a walk rate of 9%.

Historically speaking, Stroman has always had better results than his expected numbers. This is likely due to his high ground-ball rate. This year it's 59%, so like a Framber Valdez, expected stats need some context when it comes to a player keeping the ball out of the air.

However, since Boston can hit throughout the lineup and since Paxton is his opponent, it's hard to provide Stroman with the edge between the two.

The Cubs have hit lefties well in the last month. The sample size is not too big since the start of July, so dating back to June 15, the North Siders have five active bats above a .325 xwOBA.

Dansby Swanson is on the IL, so this dings them a bit.

The Red Sox clearly have the advantage with much of the bottom of the order executing lately.

The Cubs have a worse relief staff in the month of July. They have only one arm below a 4.00 xFIP, so this is why their collective relief July xFIP is 4.65. The Red Sox could push across some late-inning runs, so this is yet another edge for them.

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Red Sox vs. Cubs Betting Pick

Boston holds an advantage in starting pitching, relief pitching and batting in this ball game. Yes, they're on the road and Stroman can keep the ball on the ground, but Paxton has been better this year.

He should be better against the weaker lineup, too.

Take the Red Sox at +115, and play them to -125. They should be favored in this matchup.

Pick: Red Sox Moneyline | Play to -125

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