By: Hector Duran
The Cubs are coming off a sweep of the Pirates and they were able to squeak out a 2-1 win that featured some twists and turns. Javy Baez provided the walk off hit and the Cubs are now 7-2 which is the best record in the National League. For the Pirates, they did get 3 good innings out of Steven Brault who went 9 up, 9 down with 4 strikeouts. Both bullpens did well but the Cubs were able to edge out the Buccos and complete the sweep. The Cubs will now play the Royals in a 4-game home-and-home series and the first two are on the north side. Let’s get into it!
Money Line: KC (+130); CHC (-150)
Run Line: KC +1.5 (-155); CHC -1.5 (+135)
Total: 8: O (-105); U (-115)
First Pitch: 7:15pm CST; Wrigley Field; Chicago, IL
The Royals are coming into Wrigley after being swept by the White Sox (yikes) in a 3 game weekend series and are now 3-7 and last place in the AL Central. They will turn to their veteran pitcher in Danny Duffy and look to get back in the win column. The southpaw is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA. We have touched on that the pitching would be a concert for Kansas City all season and it has shown; they are tied for 4th in giving up the most home runs with 14. As for the bats, they have been surprisingly well. They are 5th in hits, 3rd in doubles, and are tied for 10th in doubles. This team had some low expectations going into but have been playing pretty well. They will have their hands full against a Cubs team who looks to have found their stride.
Chicago will hand the ball to Alec Mills who, in his last start, notched a win and a quality start over the Reds. He looks to build off of that start against a Royals offense that has been playing well. Overall, the Cubs have been playing great ball and find themselves 2.5 games up on Milwaukee for 1st place. One thing to note is that even though Anthony Rizzo is batting only .214, he has a slash line up .214/.450/.986 which is incredible. Half of his hits have been via the long ball and this is a team that is 4th in the league in hitting the long ball. Look for the Cubs to stack their lineup with right-handed bats against Duffy in this one.
Analysis and Best Bet
When I first saw this total, I was going to take the under but now I have cold feet about it. Now, I am going to be taking the Cubs -1.5 at +135. This team knows how to hit for power and although Duffy has struggled a bit this season, he is a guy that throws strikes and does not walk much so the Cubs should be able to jump on him early and often. Also, with Alec Mills (and the entire rotation) having been on a tear lately, I think the trend continues and Mills will be able to hold the Royals to minimal runs.