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Cubs vs. Padres Pick MLB – Aug 23rd

We notched an easy winner last night as Jon Lester did exactly what was expected; shut the door on the San Diego offense, and Edwin Jackson did exactly what HE was expected to do as well.  Struggle the second time through the Cubs lineup and allow enough runs to assure an easy runline winner.  It’s a nice way to start the week, and hopefully we can keep it rolling tonight.

I’m looking in a similar well for some more easy fishing – and just to preface a question I got from a friend/reader last week, “why are you so in love with the Cubs, is that your favorite team?”  The answer is “no.  not in love with the Cubs.  In love with easy money.”

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Today’s Free Pick:

Chicago Cubs -245 at San Diego Padres +225 (Total: 7.5)

Jake Arrieta (15-5, 2.75 ERA) vs. Christian Freidrich (4-9, 4.69 ERA)

I’m not a Cubs fan – in fact, in baseball, I am more of a passive observer than in any other sport.  But I do like trends and I like low-risk/high-value plays – or at least plays where the value is substantial in relation to the probability of victory.  The Cubs are currently +212 on the runline, meaning they are AVERAGING wins by nearly the runline for the entire season.  Their MOV is +1.7.  Second best in baseball is Washington at +1.2.  In games they are favored in only, their average MOV is +1.9.  Quite simply, when they are supposed to win, they do easily.  Now add in the Arrieta factor tonight, and call me a Cubs homer if you want (it’d be incorrect) but it is impossible NOT to like their chances tonight.

Right off the bat, the pitching matchup is a no-brainer.  Arrieta is back to early-season ATM form, and Freidrich is 29 years old and has won nine major league games in his life.  He enters tonight with an ERA in the high fours and with his team having lost seven of his last nine starts.  Granted, he has been good in two of his last four outing with a pair of quality starts, but overall, this is no contest.

The Cubs have won and covered the RUNLINE in the process in Arrieta’s last three starts.  He wasn’t sharp in his last outing, allowing five earned runs, but with the potent Cubs offense wreaking havoc behind him, as long as he is decent tonight, the Cubbies should win with some room to spare.  I hate to be repetitive, but I’m going back to the Cubs well tonight.  They’ve won 17 of 21 games and covered the runline in 13 of their last 15 wins.

I like yet another lopsided Cubs win today and the runline is a good value at just -140.

Free Pick:  Chicago Cubs RUNLINE -1.5 (-140)