By: Hector Duran & Trent Pruitt
Rather than shit talking to each other like usual when entering a Crosstown Classic, both the Cubs and Sox fan bases spent the wee hours of Thursday night/Friday morning trying to wrap their heads around how they could lose three straight to the Pirates and four straight to the Indians, respectively. Let’s be honest though, once it hits noon on Friday we’ll all be locked in on the rivalry! Let’s dive into game one, featuring Yu Darvish vs. Dylan Cease and Hector & I will give you our favorite bets!
Money Line: CHC -142, CWS + 131
Run Line: CHC -1.5 (+106), CWS +1.5 (+131)
Total: 8 (O -119, U -101)
First Pitch: 7:10 CST, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
Hector’s Analysis & Best Bet
Since this will be Darvish’s last start before the postseason, he has a chance to finish on a strong note and possibly win the Cy Young award. In his last start, which was against a good Twins offense, he struggled a bit going 6 innings, giving up 4 runs, 9 hits, but still managed to strikeout 9 batters. I am going to back Darvish again and go with the Cubs F5 -0.5 at -120. The Sox are 23rd in the league in drawing walks and love to swing the bat. Darvish has the ability to get double digit strikeouts in every outing and has 3 such games this season. Also, the Sox, as a team, rank 4th in the MLB in strikeouts with 543 which is not a good recipe.
As for the Cubs offense, Trent will dive into Cease’s numbers a little bit deeper but he has always struggled with commanding his pitches and issues a ton of walks. The Cubs can draw the walk which should be able to create a run or two at least to cash this bet. Both offenses have been struggling mightily as of late but something’s gotta give and I think the Cubs offense can muster up something against the young righty.
Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet
I think I saw at one point on Sunday that the Sox had allowed five runs on just one hit – not great! I’ve said it in every preview which Dylan Cease gets the start, once he can control his pitches, he’s going to be dominant. Unfortunately, the young righty continues to struggle with location. With that being said, I’m going to back Cease in some capacity this evening. I’m going with the under 4.5 Cubs runs (-118) for a unit! The free passes could get us into trouble which is why I’m only putting a unit on it. There is a lot of upside to this bet though, seeing as the Cubs are the 25th best offense this season in wOBA (.305) and 26th in BABIP (.274). Their offense has been brutal over the past eight games, scoring only 13 runs.
Additionally, Cease is way better at home than on the road. He boasts a 1.77 ERA and holds his opponents to a .197 batting average as opposed to away splits which see those numbers at 4.59 and .246. Cease started against the Northsiders back in August and turned in a quality start spanning 6.0 IP allowing just two earned runs on four hits and three walks. Look for him to go for a nice outing tonight against the team that dished him away in the Quintana trade a few years back!
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