BlackJack: How I’m Betting Tuesday’s NL Wild-Card Game
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Charlie Blackmon
- The Colorado Rockies are slight underdogs (+125 odds) against the Chicago Cubs (-140 odds) in the NL wild-card game.
- With Kyle Freeland and Jon Lester on the mound, BlackJack Fletcher has a bet he's eyeing for Tuesday night's showdown.
It’s October, there’s a crispness to the air (well, there should be any way), the leaves are changing colors, “Hocus Pocus” is all over our television screens and playoff baseball has arrived.
After a pair of Game 163s yesterday, we get the single-elimination wild-card games over the next two days. The National League is up first with the Colorado Rockies visiting the Chicago Cubs.
These two teams are pretty evenly matched, but I see some value in the odds.
Betting odds: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
- Rockies Moneyline: +125 (Kyle Freeland)
- Cubs Moneyline: -140 (Jon Lester)
- Over/Under: 7 (-115/-105)
- First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
- Channel: ESPN
The Rockies trot out Freeland to go against Lester for the Cubs.
Obviously, Lester has the edge when it comes to playoff experience. He is 9-7 with a 2.55 ERA in the postseason, but his teams lost his two previous elimination-game starts (Boston 2008, Oakland 2014).
Freeland, on the other hand, is in his second big league season and has no playoff experience. He did, however, have an outstanding year, going 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA.
The Rockies offense has been outstanding this season. They scored the second-most runs in the National League, hit the third-most home runs and hit for the third-highest average.
They were led by MVP candidates Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, who hit 38 and 37 home runs, respectively.
Additionally, the Rockies closed the season very strong to make the playoffs, going 9-1 over their final 10 games. The Cubs went 6-4 down the stretch.
These teams battled it out six times this season and split the series with three wins apiece, with the Rockies taking two of three at Wrigley.
Ultimately, I think this is a very close matchup, but I’ll be putting my money on the Rockies.
Freeland has been unbelievable this season, and I think he has another gem in him tonight.
I expect a few home runs out of this explosive offense and for Colorado to move on to the divisional round.
THE PICK: Colorado Rockies +125
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.