I stayed red-hot with a clean 2-0 night last night with my free MLB picks, but it wasn’t easy.
I caught a big break in the game between the Pirates and Reds where I had the Reds -1.5 on the run line. They took a 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh inning looking to close out the first game of the double-header. That means I needed the Pirates to tie it and the Reds to hit at least a two-run walk-off homer at some point.
Indeed, the Pirates tied it and a two-out walk in the bottom half of the inning was followed by a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off homer from rookie Tyler Stephenson. The 3-1 final netted us a win and a one-unit profit.
I also had a close call between the Phillies and Marlins where I had the under 8.5. The two teams scattered runs throughout the game, but we avoided the big innings which kills under bets. Rather, we held on ever so slightly with a 6-2 Marlins win that kept the total under 8.5
It was a two-unit profit on the night as we look to stay hot on tonight’s 15-game schedule!
Season Record: 20-9-1
Now let’s take a look at this free MLB pick featuring the Indians vs. Cubs from Chicago!
Indians vs. Cubs Betting Odds
- Indians (+143)
- Cubs (-155)
- Indians +1.5 (-145)
- Cubs -1.5 (+125)
- Over 8 (-126)
- Under 8 (+106)
Indians vs. Cubs MLB Pick Breakdown
The Indians will send veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the bump for this one tonight in what will mark his 10th start of the season and he’s been real good through the first nine.
Carrasco enters this one sporting a 3.12 ERA/3.71 FIP on the season while punchout out the opposition at a stout 10.65 K/9 clip. For a guy with a career 3.79 ERA/3.42 FIP and a 9.42 K/9, it’s pretty standard stuff here while Carrasco’s K/9 has been at least 10.17 over the four seasons, including this one.
Perhaps there’s a little bit of room for regression given his 4.02 SIERA and the fact he’s stranded 85.5% of his base runners this season, a figure well above his 73.8% clip. Nonetheless, he’s been stellar this season and even better of late.
Over his last three starts spanning 19 innings, Carrasco has posted a 0.95 ERA while not allowing more than one earned runs in any of those starts. This on the heels of a iffy three-start stretch in which he allowed 10 earned runs in 12 innings.
One of those poor starts came against these Cubs when he allowed three earned across 4.1 innings, largely due to walking five in that time, but he also struck out seven.
While Carrasco has largely been good this season, I’m not sure there’s been a better starting pitcher on the planet than Yu Darvish since the second half of last season.
After working to a dominant 0.77 ERA in the second half of 2019, Darvish has turned in a 1.77 ERA/2.26 FIP this season to go along with an 11.57 K/9 and stellar 1.77 BB/9. Additionally, he’s allowed home runs at a real nice 0.64 HR/9 rate thanks in part to a tiny 29.1% fly-ball rate on the season.
He’s not coming off his best outing in which he allowed three earned runs against the Reds in six innings, but that start was just the second time this season he’s allowed more than one earned runs in a start. After allowing three to the Brewers in his first outing of the season, Darvish rattled off seven straight starts in which he allowed one or zero earned runs.
There’s some notable Cy Young contenders in the likes of Trevor Bauer and Jacob deGRom in the NL, but it’s hard to envision Darvish not being the leader in the clubhouse in that race at the moment.
It’s a good thing the Indians’ pitching staff has been so good again this season as their offense has largely scuffled.
The Indians enter this one ranked 24th with a .305 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching while their power output against righties as been minimal in the form of a 27th-ranked .139 ISO.
One thing they have done well versus righties is take walks as they sport an 11.3% walk rate against righties this season, but Darvish has kept free passes to a minimum this year, mitigating that factor for the Indians.
This offense also hasn’t been all that great of late. They have scored nine runs over their last two games, but also scored just two across a three-game stretch prior to that.
Entering this one, they have lost six straight games while averaging 2.8 runs per game during that time.
The Cubs’ offense started the season hot but they have slowly slipped down the rankings, although they’re far from terrible.
The Cubs rank 14th with a .324 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching but also sit fifth with a .195 ISO against them.
They too take their walks in the form of a 10.2% walk rate versus righties, but they also have strikeout issues in the form of a 26.3% K-rate which ranks 28th against right-handed pitching.
They largely scuffled at the plate last week, but the finished the week with a bang as they hung 12 runs on the Brewers on Sunday while their starter Alec Mills worked a no-hitter during that one as well.
They’ve been pretty good offensively, but they’ll need stars such as Kris Bryant and Javier Baez to get straightened out moving forward.
Like their starting rotation, this Indians bullpen has been extremely productive.
The Indians enter this one sporting a fourth-ranked 3.54 ERA on the season alongside a third-ranked 3.65 FIP. Their xFIP of 4.40 slips to 11th, but nonetheless they have received yeoman’s work from this group once again this season after an excellent 2019 campaign.
They’ve managed to keep home runs down at a 0.95 HR/9 rate despite a small 36.5% ground-ball rate that is among the lowest in the league, but Indians relievers have combined to allow a tiny 30.6% hard-hit rate, as per Statcast, the lowest mark in all of baseball.
Bullpen woes were common earlier in the season for the Cubs but they went on to start 12-2 despite them. That said, this group has been better of late.
Over the last two weeks, the Cubs’ bullpen has worked to a 1.85 ERA, the second-best mark in baseball during that time. They also own a 2.49 FIP/3.23 xFIP in that span as well.
All the sudden the Cubs rank 15th with a 4.41 ERA from their bullpen this season, 14th with an identical 4.41 FIP but they also sit fifth with an impressive 4.09 xFIP, indicating their turnaround could get even better moving forward.
The Cubs needed their bullpen to make significant strides and that’s just what has taken place of late.
Indians vs. Cubs MLB Pick
It appears there is a 9 mph wind blowing out to left center field at Wrigley Field tonight and we know that jet stream can lend itself to home runs as we’ve seen many times at this venue.
Still, I can’t help but look at the under and see value.
Of course, we have two excellent starting pitchers going, one of which is probably the NL Cy Young leader at this point. We also have an Indians bullpen that’s been among the best in the business this season and a red-hot Cubs bullpen that’s been among the very best of late.
The Cubs’ offense has slipped as the season has moved along while the Indians’ offense just hasn’t gotten going at all this season.
To me, those factors are enough to push this total under at a wonderful price.