The Dodgers may have won two more games, staying hot on their quest for the winningest regular season in MLB history, but it FEELS like they took a small step backwards with the injury to Alex Wood. Wood, who was in the mix for the National League ERA crown and possessed a 14-1 record, has been sent to the DL with a shoulder injury. He is expected to return for the postseason, but it is by no means certain he will be back and ready to pitch at the same elite level. The Dodgers have some depth thanks to the addition of Darvish, but it does open the door even more for the Nationals or the streaking Cubs.
And speaking of the Cubs, according to Fan Graphs, they are now at a 94% chance to make the postseason despite owning just a 2.5 game lead in the NL Central. Granted, that lead is four games in the loss column, but the confidence in the Cubs is impressive nonetheless. Assuming Fangraphs is prescient, we could be in store for an absolutely thrilling and epic Playoffs in five weeks…
Today’s MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs -140 at Cincinnati Reds +130 (Total: 10)
Mike Montgomery (3-6, 3.64 ERA) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (3-2, 5.26 ERA)
The Cubs are just four games over .500 on the road this season and the Reds just three games under at home, but this still feels like a mismatch and a pretty valuable line on the Chicago side tonight. The Cubs have won 27 of 36 games against the Reds over the past two seasons and are 8-4 so far in 2017. They are also facing a rookie making just his eighth career start.
His last start against the Cubs didn’t go so well; it lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs in a 15-5 loss. He yielded 10 hits, including two home runs and faces a hot Cubs lineup tonight in a hitter-friendly ballpark that will be packed with Cubs fans.
Meanwhile, Montgomery is making his return to the rotation and Joe Maddon insists it isn’t a try out for the 28-year old hurler. He will be replacing the injured Jon Lester, and in his last appearance in Cincinnati he pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Tonight, he will look for the same success from the beginning of the game.
The Cubs have owned Cincinnati with 75% efficiency dating back to 2015. No sense fighting that powerful trend tonight.
Today’s MLB Pick: CHICAGO CUBS TO WIN -140