The Mets fly into the Windy City for a three-game set with the Cubs after winning two of three over the Phillies. Let's review the MLB odds and cash another ticket.
This is getting ridiculous. Look, winning is the name of the game but I feel like I made some Faustian deal with the devil, and unaware to what is my end of the bargain. Yesterday I wrote two columns with a total of four MLB bettign picks, consisting of one side and three totals. The MLB odds were, in my opinion, far too generous with the visiting Texas Rangers and I eagerly grabbed the +132 (which subsequently tumbled all the way down to +117 at game time) that they were giving me. The Rangers wound up defeating America's Team, the Chicago Cubs, by the score of 4-1. I then delivered three totals, all under the posted total, in the Pirates/Nats, Mets/Phillies and Red Sox/Yankees games. No nail biting in any of those three games was required as all cruised effortlessly.
Guys, when you're hot - you're hot. I am not complaining but I am certainly bewitched by a magical baseball season where I am capping at nearly 70 percent. This isn't all chalky favorites either as my +31 units attest. These bets are all based on one unit wagers. We are not tossing in 10 units when we get behind as the old tout trick goes. Hell, I'm not even a paid tout. I'm just a professional handicapper delivering this information free of charge courtesy of SBR. Let's go for another winner tonight!
Matz goes for Mets
The 25-year-old southpaw Steven Matz (7-5, 3.56, 1.24 WHIP) will look to break into the win column after two consecutive defeats. Matz last took the hill eight days ago against the Washington Nationals, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings of work en route to a 3-2 loss. The Mets' young lefty is 0-0 when starting against the Cubs with an ERA of 3.60 and a WHIP of 1.600. His team's record is 2-0 (+2.3 units) in these starts.
Lester Looks to Rebound
Jon Lester (9-4, 3.01 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) has never quite broken through to the rarified air of elite status in the major leagues. Yes, he's a fine pitcher to have in your rotation but not the bona fide, slide stopping ace that conjures images of Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens or even fellow teammate Jake Arrieta. He is exactly where he belongs on a World Series contender, firmly ensconced as the No. 2 behind a formidable and truly legitimate ace.
After pitching brilliantly throughout the season, July greeted Lester with an anvil as he was shelled just over two weeks ago by these same Mets at Citi Field to the tune of eight runs on nine hits and was chased before completing the second inning in the 14-3 loss. Things didn't get much better in his last start when the Pirates beat him up for five runs over just three innings of work leading to a 12-6 defeat.
Every pitcher struggles through a bad game but true aces don't often let it happen twice in a row. That's another reason why Lester isn't an ace but what makes him a legitimately upper-tier pitcher is he has the stuff to pitch like a true No.1 and do it far more often than not. That's why he won't get torched tonight and will right himself from this two-game trip off the rails.
Not only will Lester atone for his recent sins, I say he will pitch a dandy tonight. He has not thrown a ball in anger in eight days, courtesy of the All-Star break, and will be well rested. The veteran southpaw owns a stellar 2.32 ERA at Wrigley Field this season and hasn't pitched at home since June 18th when he picked up a win over the Pirates in a 4-3 victory.
Though the Cubs bats were virtually silenced last night against Texas in their 4-1 setback, and have lost five straight to the Mets, I see this as a litmus test to prove the team's resolve. The Cubs have a far more potent offense than New York's and the Mets have provided very little run support when Martz takes the mound. Let's go with the home chalk here.
MLB Pick: Cubs -154
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
MLB Record: 53-23, +31.03 units