Last night was a monster profit night for us on the diamond. Not only was the UNDER 8 wager one of the easiest winners in a season full of success, but the value play of the Indians at +190 came to fruition as well, thanks to the Indians amazing pitching staff recording their record FIFTH postseason shutout in just eleven games. Remarkable stuff, and it puts the Indians in a pretty powerful position with an opportunity to go up 3-1 tonight with their ace, Corey Kluber, facing off against the Cubs fourth starter, veteran John Lackey.
So can the Indians deliver the mighty punch to the city of Chicago’s dreams? Or will the Cubs and Joe Maddon, never short on thrills, summon one more magical moment in a season full of them to even the series at two games apiece?
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Today’s Free Pick:
World Series GAME FOUR
Cleveland Indians +120 at Chicago Cubs -130 (Total: Not let Listed)
Corey Kluber vs. John Lackey
I generally wait until run totals are listed to write and publish a full column, but the early lines on this game at fivedimes and betonline and a few other outlets seem a little wonky to me, and I have a feeling the betting public will correct them a little bit once they see they are getting PLUS money AND Corey Kluber.
Tonight is exactly the kind of game that can get us in trouble as wagers and fans, battling in the same mind. Unless you are an Indians fan (or a spiteful Cardinals/White Sox fan) you probably want Chicago to win. They’re the lovable underdogs. America’s team. We ALL WANT them to win tonight. And the line reflects that feeling.
Take Game Four of the World Series, Cubs down 2-1 and NEEDING to win out of the equation, and just LOOK at this game. Corey Kluber and a bullpen that is on a roll the likes of which we have rarely seen in baseball history, against John Lackey and a Cubs offense that has been shut out four times in the last nine games. Who would you favor in that ballgame? Cleveland -135? Maybe even -140?
Well, if you can be dispassionate enough to overlook the importance of tonight’s game, analytical enough to remove the “got to” and “want to” from the equation, which frankly, in baseball generally is irrelevant when compared to football or basketball where intensity and physicality to directly impact the opponent, and the value in tonight’s play is pretty simple.
Could the Cubs win? Of course. They are an excellent team and Lackey is a trusted veteran. But the VALUE is clearly on the Indians side, even if this line flipped to the reverse. In four starts in the postseason, Kluber has a 0.67 ERA. He set a record for strikeouts in the first three innings of a World Series game fanning EIGHT Cubs in Game One. Meanwhile, Lackey has allowed five runs in just eight innings of postseason work.
I’ll take the Indians and risk the wrath of angry hopeful fans everywhere.