The Chicago Cubs bring the NLDS to Chicago for game 3. Wrigley is going to be going crazy for this game, as they finally welcome back their Cubs to the postseason. What a way to welcome the Cubs back into the postseason with Jake Arrieta on the mound. In my opinion, he has been the best pitcher in baseball this season. I took advantage of Arrieta during the regular season, and we’ll see if I go that way in this NLDS series. After winning game 2, the Cubs are right back in the series and are going to be backed by a frenzy in Chicago. A couple of wins and the Cardinals, who finished 1st in all of MLB, will be bounced in the first round. I think this is a series that goes the distance and comes down a winner take all game 5. As far as this one goes, it’s a matchup that features the respective aces of the Cardinals and Cubs.
I did say months back that losing Adam Wainwright may not hurt them too much then and during the regular season, but in the postseason they will miss him dearly. And here we are, the Cards are without Wainwright which would have gave them a pitching staff that challenges all other rotations in the postseason right now. They are still good, but Wainwright would have pushed them over the top. Wacha hasn’t been the best lately, and has a bad history against the Cubs. This is the playoffs, though and he’s going to have to dig deep and shake off a few bad starts against this team. Arrieta has been untouchable, but anything can happen in these games. The games continue to get more serious and a mistake here and there will devastate a season worth of success. The Cardinals are the only 100 win team in 2015. How much do you think that will mean if they don’t get past the Cubs? Not very much. Get the pick below and enjoy another day of postseason baseball.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Michael Wacha (17-7, 3.95 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (23-6, 1.70)
If you haven’t noticed, Jake Arrieta has kind of been playing good baseball this season. Nobody is scoring runs off him and I mean nobody. Out of the amount of years I have been handicapping baseball games, I haven’t seen quite the run like Arrieta is having. Greinke and Kershaw went on big stretches of no run baseball earlier this season, but Arrieta has surpassed them and made it look like child’s play. A 1.70 ERA is impressive enough, but Arrieta hasn’t allowed a single run in his last four starts. Further, he has allowed just 2 runs in his last ten outings. Note that he has gone 8-2 with regards to putting up a big 0 runs allowed. Arrieta this season has given up 0 runs in fourteen starts. Just mind boggling stuff.
The Cubs have success against Wacha. He has a 4.86 ERA against the Cubbies with a 1.38 WHIP. In a couple of recent starts against the Cubs, Wacha allowed 6 runs and 4 runs in those starts. He hasn’t had a great month, and has shown signs of wearing down as the season progresses. Wacha has had a lot of pressure on him to make up for Wainwright’s absence, and for the most part has done it, but lately there have been signs of slowing down. Wacha had a 2.92 ERA on August 6th and it has risen to 3.38 since then. In his last three starts he posted a 8.36 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. I want to take the Cards at that price, but can’t against Arrieta. I haven’t faded Arrieta all year long and I can’t today. He has been a money tree for me in 2015 and I plan on riding that train to the bank again today. Something like a 4-1 win for the Cubs looks about right.
PICK: CUBS -1.5 (-105)