MLB Betting - Lester & Cubs To Give Wrigley Crowd Something To Cheer

Jon Lester in action

Sunday, October 30, 2016 6:16 PM GMT

Despite being down 3-1 in the World Series, the Chicago Cubs are heavy favorites Sunday night on the MLB odds to send the Fall Classic back to Cleveland.

Season: 47-47 (+2.65) Postseason: 4-7 (-3.05)

It's win and go home MLB champions for the Cleveland Indians, win or stay home and start with the 'wait until next year' chants for Chicago Cubs.

With a 3-1 stranglehold on the World Series, Cleveland continues to defy the MLB odds and can clinch its first title in 68 years Sunday evening when Game 5 takes place on Chicago's North Side, FOX beginning its broadcast at 8:00 PM. The Indians will trot Trevor Bauer out to the mound on short rest while the Cubs send veteran Jon Lester to the hill on his usual rest.

If the Tribe is going to win the championship on the road, they will have to do so once again as decided underdogs. Chicago is going off anywhere from -220 to -235, Intertops one of the sports books listing the Cubs on a -220 moneyline with the return on Cleveland at +190. A game total has not been released yet, though we're expecting it to come out at 7-7½.

Both Hurlers Coming Off Losses

After spotting Chicago a 1-0 lead Saturday evening, Cleveland took over the contest to come away with a 7-2 decision. Corey Kluber was once again masterful on the mound, the right hander working six and allowing just that first run to leave him with a 0.75 ERA and 4-1 record in five postseason starts. The Cubs will now try and become the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to come back and win a Series after trailing 3-1.

Tonight's pitching matchup could be a good start for Chicago to do just that. Bauer closed the regular season in rather rough fashion, his final six starts netting the righthander a 6.39 ERA. That has carried over into the playoffs, Bauer yet to go five innings in any of his three assignments and allowing nine earned runs in nine frames. He took the loss Wednesday in Cleveland, pulled with an out to go in the fourth inning of Chicago's 5-1 triumph.

Lester also suffered a loss in Game 1 of this Series, a very poor first inning costing him and the Cubs in a 6-0 defeat. The southpaw was solid in three playoff starts before that, however, yielding just two runs over the course of 21 innings and closing the regular season by helping the Cubs to 12 wins in his final 14 starts.

Can Lester Extend Chicago's Season?

Tony Randazzo should be calling balls and strikes tonight, his second postseason plate assignment after a regular season in which he was 14-14-1 O/U/P against the totals. The Chicago native worked Cleveland's third game of the ALDS in Boston, a 4-3 Indians win that stayed 'under' a 9 run mark and resulted in the Tribe sweeping the Red Sox. This is his first World Series game behind the dish, and his lone appearance at Wrigley this season went 'over' an 8 run total.

There is a 20% chance of rain in the Chicago area today and evening, but the game shouldn't be in jeopardy. Most of the contest should be played in the low-50s with a light NE breeze (in from center).

I just can't see Lester having consecutive bad starts, but the way the Cubs hitters are pressing, covering a run line might be asking too much. So, it's time to bite the bullet with my free MLB pick and lay the chalk on Chicago.

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -220

Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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