With the progressive Joe Maddon as manager and an emphasis on Defense, Speed and great Pitching, the world champion Chicago Cubs are proving to be an Under team lately.
Winning a World Series requires many things but when you haven’t won one in a century and people are still talking about fucking billy goats and black cats, then top-shelf Defense, Speed, great starting and relief Pitching and intelligent managing are required to end any perceived MLB curses and dispel any silly cowhide narratives. In finally winning their first World Series in 108 years, manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs (+450 to win 2017 World Series, Bovada) ended up evolving into an Under team at Wrigley Field, and in the L77 games played at The Friendly Confines, the Under has gone a profitable 51-23-3 (68.9%).
This year, Chicago is 4-5 (O/U) at Home while being 6-2-1 after Saturday’s 12-8 Cubs win over the Reds in Game 2 of their NL Central series at Great American Ball Park on Saturday (CUBS -173, 7½, BookMaker) in a game which flew Over the posted Total in the Top of the 2nd after a 4-3 Cincy lead after an inning. Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs have played 5 straight Road Overs heading into Game 3 on Sunday (1:10 p.m. ET; CUBS -166, 9o -120, BookMaker) where Chicago will send John Lackey to the mound against Bronson Arroyo as it goes for the sweep (Over 17-6-1 L24 CUBS Road).
Cubs Had Eight Opponents in 2016 Where the Under Went a Combined 26-5-1
Last Regular and Postseason, the Cubs (+180 to win NL, Bovada) had teams they played at Home that ended as distinct Under situations. Against the Angels (2-0, 5.0 rpg), Rangers (3-0, 5.0 rpg), Mets (3-0, 5.77 rpg), Diamondbacks (3-0, 6.33 rpg), Phillies (3-0, 7.33 rpg), Giants (3-1-1, 4.20 rpg), Marlins (4-2, 6.67 rpg) and Dodgers (5-2, 4.57 rpg), the Under went a combined 26-5-1 (83.9%) in Chicago as Cubs series against the AL West (6-2), NL East (13-5) and NL West (12-5-1) all trended heavily Under last season. The Under was also 4-2-1 in seven Wrigley Field Postseason series games (SFG, LAD, CLE) with three of the four one-run games at Wrigley Field all being played in the Playoffs in chilly October temperatures with Cueto-Lester, Kershaw-Hendricks and Tomlin-Hendricks all starting in 1-0 finals.
So were there any MLB teams that played Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs to Overs at Wrigley in 2016? Cubs-Reds’ Overs went 5-3 at Wrigley (9, 11, 8, 8, 17, 14, 11, 7, 7, 4) with 96 runs in their games, averaging a robust 12.0 rpg. And with 2 Overs and 31 Runs in their first two games at Cincinnati this series, tagging all Cubs-Reds games as potential Over bets may be a prudent idea at this point in time?Conclusions, Some Wrigley-Specific Under Trends
Perhaps the loss of speedy 2016 leadoff man Dexter Fowler (Cardinals) will hurt the North Siders also a bit as Kyle Schwarber (6-0, 235, 3.5 seconds Home to First Base) looks more like a No. 5 hitter—or perhaps an old bassist for Led Zeppelin—than a guy to try to get on base to start one’s batting order. The Cubs have looked average so far with only Jason Heyward (.300) hitting .300 or over in the World Series champions starting lineup although Chicago climbed to 4th in MLB in Runs per Game (4.94) and 15th in HRs (19) after Saturday’s 12-8 scorfest. And Chicago had rallied an incredible four times from 3-run, 6th Inning-and-on deficits so far—the rest of MLB was a combined 5-77 (0.61) heading into play Friday—proving Kris Bryant and the Cubs can definitely rally from behind.
Along with the Under being 51-21-3 L77 at Wrigley Field, the Under is 15-3-1 L19 Jon Lester Starts at The House That Old Style Built and 5-0 in the southpaw’s L5 Home starts vs. the Pirates, 20-9 L29 vs. LHP and the Under is 4-1 L5 Cubs Fridays.
The Under is also an extremely profitable 12-2 L14 against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field (+8.9 units) and 18-5 L23 overall, including three Unders last series (APR 10-12) with a paltry 5, 2 and 4 Runs scored—or the same number (11) the Cubs and Reds combined for after just 9 outs on Saturday. Los Angeles (12/1 to win World Series, Heritage) won’t be in Chicago again until next season or the NLDS or maybe the NLCS (again) this year, but Ben Zobrist and the Cubs will be in Lalaland on Memorial Day weekend for a three-games series May 26-28.