We came back strong after the break with a no sweat win in Oakland. Sonny Gray pitched a brilliant game for Oakland, as he bolstered his value on the trading market. The Athletics need to think about the future, and getting some prospects in return would be the route to go in my opinion. Conversely, Gray would be a fine addition to a team who needs another solid piece in the rotation. The Astros stick out as a team who would bite on Gray.
We leave the west coast and head all the way over to the east where the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles continue their interleague date on Saturday. Friday provided an entertaining affair as the Cubs held on for a 9-8 victory to get the latter part of the season underway.
The Cubs jumped out to a 8-0 lead, but nearly gave it all away as the Orioles crawled back. We didn’t see leads like that evaporate for the Cubs in 2016, but overall, this season has been tough sledding for them. As a team who brought the Cubs their first World Series since the early 1900’s, they can do no wrong. They have a grace period built in now.
No Cub fans wants them to go another 100 years without winning a World Series, though. They may have to wait at least another year to celebrate another one, because the Cubs don’t look in postseason mode, at least not yet. They are currently 5.5 games back in the NL Central of none other than the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers? Yeah, but the Rockies had a grip on the NL West for a while there and now they’re 10.5 games back of the Dodgers. A lot can change in a hurry, and the Cubs have good a chance as anyone to win the division. Let’s pick up another winner tonight; find our selection below.
Chicago Cubs vs. Baltimore Orioles Pick
Jake Arrieta (8-7, 4.35 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (4-7, 4.97 ERA)
If the Cubs want a comeback, the pitching must be better for them. Jake Arrieta has played a pivotal role in their resurgence over the past couple of years, but his arm seems to be regressing. Arrieta had a year in 2015, following up his 2.53 ERA from 2014 with a 1.77. He was good again last year but saw his numbers slip to an ERA of 3.10. Arrieta holds a 4.35 ERA at the moment for this season.
Arrieta’s career started back in 2010 with the Orioles. It was a rough tenure for him, with his last season in Baltimore ending with a 7.23 ERA. The Cubs turned garbage into a diamond, though, as Arrieta has been a solid performer in Chicago ever since he left the O’s. He comes in with a 4.32 ERA in his last three outings, consistently holding around that number throughout 2017.
Wade Miley has been a disaster, however. Miley posits a 4.97 ERA, which is less than desirable, but he’s been hammered for a 8.03 ERA in his last three showings, along with a 2.43 WHIP. I think we’re in for an offensive onslaught from the Cubs to being the second-half of the season. Arrieta hasn’t been perfect this season, but I think he plays well enough to defeat Miley tonight.
PICK: CUBS (-140)