Have you ever known someone with unlimited potential – maybe they were incredibly intelligent, a computer genius, or blessed athletically – but, for some reason they just never seemed to make anything out of their potential? Always finding away to blend in the rest, although they clearly should be excelling? We all know this person, and he/she is the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs set out to complete the 3-game sweep of the A’s, in a matchup of two teams headed in opposite directions, and there’s some good value on the run line.
The Cubs send right-hander Kyle Hendricks to the mound today, while the A’s will counter with rookie lefty, Sean Manaea. Hendricks has been arguably the best pitcher for the Cubs, boasting a 2.22 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 20 starts this season. And over his last 10 games? Oh, he’s just gone 6-2, with 6 quality starts, allowing only 9 earned runs for an ERA of 1.45…. No big deal. His numbers have been significantly lower on the road this season, but he’s 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA over his last 3 starts away from Wrigley.
Manaea has been pretty solid in his rookie campaign, going 3-6 with an ERA of 4.68 and a WHIP of 1.31. Like most rookies, he’s been up and down, but at times has shown flashes of brilliance. The Cubs, however, have been one of the best teams in the bigs this season vs. lefties; which doesn’t bode well for him here. He’s been better at home, and I believe he’ll pitch well today, but the potent Cubs lineup will be too much.
Both starters are averaging about 6 innings per start, and although the Cubs should get to Manaea for a few runs early, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pitch into the 6th. The A’s bullpen has been decent on the year, but the Cubs have the clear edge in the pen.
A Tale Of Two Teams
Early in the season, the Cubs were practically unbeatable. Destined to break every record, and cruise to a 120 win season. However, they stumbled through July, and still weren’t the same team after the break… That’s changed. They’ve won 6 straight, 9 of 10, and look like to be regaining that early season dominance. They’re pitching well, swinging the bats well, and playing smart baseball.
The A’s on the other hand… They’ve been streaky. After a hot start out of the all-star break, they’ve lost 8 of 10, and find themselves in the cellar of the AL West – 15.5 games back.
The Cubs opened as heavy favorites, -170, and although they’ve received about 80% of the bets, the line has remained pretty steady. It seems that although receiving little public support, the A’s are receiving some sharp money. Typically, I’d stay away in this situation. I don’t like backing teams on winning streaks, and/or are receiving heavy public support, however the Cubs will keep the streak going. Bet the moneyline with confidence, but I’d rather cash in on the run line.
Cubs -1.5 (-110)