We got burned with our MLB pick last night, as the Astros scratched ace Dallas Keuchel (illness) just before their tilt in Kansas City with the Royals. Houston lost and only mustered five runs, but something tell us our Under pick would have had a shot if Houston’s best arm was toeing the rubber.
It’s onward and upward, of course, as we move along to a fun offensive clash at Wrigley Field today between the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs. Chicago badly needs to keep pace with the Milwaukee Brewers, who raced back to the top of the NL Central with two big home wins over the San Francisco Giants. Chicago had pulled themselves out of a nasty rut, but are just 5-5 over their last 10 games and coming off of tough home loss to the Miami Marlins.
The Cubs have typically taken care of business at home in 2017 (19-12 at Wrigley), but will be battling a potent Rockies offense that has hit its way to first place in the NL West with an impressive 38-23 mark. Colorado comes in red hot with a four-game winning streak behind them and has also impressed (21-10) away from Coors Field. How will things shake out in this matchup tonight and which betting angle should you take? Let’s take a closer look to find out:
Colorado Rockies (+159) @ Chicago Cubs (-184) Total: 8.5
Tyler Chatwood (5-7, 4.60 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (3-3, 3.91 ERA)
We get a very interesting battle at Wrigley Field tonight, as we have very passable pitching and explosive offenses going at it. Jon Lester is the big name to monitor, as one of Chicago’s best pitchers is usually a scary sight for MLB bettors, but has provided a lot more wiggle room in 2017. The 33-year old lefty hasn’t displayed the dominant strikeout upside we’re used to seeing, while he’s also been knocked around several times this year.
Lester is coming off of two shaky outings, with his most recent contest seeing him give up 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 runs at home against the rival St. Louis Cardinals. That effort wasn’t terrible, but Lester was even worse in his previous start when he got lit up in Los Angeles (7 hits, 6 runs) against the Dodgers. Lester can still manage games and make batters miss, but his dominance has been touch and go this year. Considering his recent form and Colorado’s strong numbers against southpaws (4th in batting average, 5th in home runs), this is a less than ideal spot to trust him in.
Colorado might be in a better position on the other side from a pitching perspective. Tyler Chatwood is not an elite arm, but he’s endured most of his struggles in the always hittable Coors Field. When he gets to break away from his home stadium, Chatwood has sported a much healthier 2.68 ERA. The 27-year old righty has really kept offenses under his control on the road this year, with opposing lineups averaging a meager .168 across six road starts.
This matchup gets worse for the Cubs, who haven’t seen the same pop they’re accustomed to offensively. With Chicago ranking just 17th in home runs versus righties and a paltry 29th against right-handed pitching when it comes to batting average, Chatwood could be in a fine spot.
Trusting Chatwood on the road against the Cubs is still going to be a roll of the dice, just as it will be to turn away from a notoriously dominant arm like Lester at his home base. This game is going to feature some scoring, however, and the splits favor the underdog Rockies from every angle. I’d temper your bet a bit here, but the value is just way too good to ignore. We love the Rockies as a straight up upset pick here, while we can probably target the Over, as well.