Darvish & Rangers Present Good MLB Odds Value vs Cubs

Jay Pryce

Saturday, July 16, 2016 2:05 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 16, 2016 2:05 PM UTC

The Rangers welcome Yu Darvish back to the rotation this afternoon. The ace faces a tough test in his return, squaring off against Jason Hammel and the Cubs at Wrigley. Get your free pick with betting analysis here.

Texas Rangers (54-37) – Yu Darvish (2-0, 2.87 ERA)
Yu Darvish returns from a second stint on the disabled list this afternoon, where he's resided since early June because of shoulder discomfort, to make only his fourth start since 2014. The Japanese ace missed 2015 and all of April as part of his Tommy John recovery. Roughed up a bit in his final minor league tune-up with Double-A Frisco, Darvish allowed three runs on six hits over five frames.

Today's game is just the third time the 6-foot-5 right-hander goes off a underdog in his career. He's 1-1 in the previous two outings. Overall, the Rangers are just a .500 club behind Darvish away from Arlington, going 20-20 at -138 average odds. He and the bullpen allow 3.7 runs per game away in this spot. He's never faced the Cubs.

Despite getting shutout 6-0 by Kyle Hendricks and Chicago yesterday, the OVER is 18-4 in the Rangers’ last 22 games against a team that scores more runs and gives up fewer on the season. Going off a dog in all but five games, Bannister’s squad has gotten to the opponent’s rotation in most contests, averaging 5.4 runs a tilt.

Texas is the most profitable underdog team this season. It is 36-23 at +132 average odds, returning nearly 38 percent to bettors. At odds less than +130, it is 23-8 overall. Darvish and company opened at +117 this afternoon, but early adjustments see the price rising to as high as +130 just hours before its 2:20 p.m. ET start.


Chicago Cubs (54-35) – Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.46 ERA)
Manager Joe Maddon taps Jason Hammel to oppose Darvish. After going 9-2 through his first 11 starts, the Cubs have dropped the right-hander's last six. During the losing streak, Hammel and the pen allowed four runs or more in each game. He was lifted after 80 pitches in a 4-3 defeat to the Braves last time out because of cramping in his throwing hand. Hammels' ERA jumped to its current 3.46 from 2.09 at the beginning of June.

Don't expect Darvish to work deep into the game, which is good news for Cubs' hitters. Although his fastball is reportedly buzzing harder then ever, the Rangers will play it safe with the Japanese ace, as he's yet to establish a regular workload following his Tommy John surgery. In three games this year, he's failed to reach the sixth inning. The Rangers' pen owns a 5.06 ERA, highest in MLB outside of the Reds (5.71). In limited appearances, Bannister's relief yield a 4.44 ERA against the current Chicago roster, allowing a .266 batting average and a .771 OPS.

Chicago is 25-2 at Wrigley this year when crossing the plate for four runs or more. Winning by 3.5 runs per contest, they are 21-6 against the point spread at average MLB odds of +103, returning the savviest bettors a hefty 60 percent profit.


Final Analysis
Hammel will likely need some run support to earn the decision here. In his time in a Cubs uniform, the team is 10-29 when failing to aid the predominantly slider-tossing right-hander with 5 runs or more. Since Chicago caught fire after last season's All-Star Break, they are 4-13 in this spot. The value here is with Darvish and the Rangers. Texas backers will need the bullpen to put in a solid effort. Rangers +130 is the free MLB picks.​​​​​

Free MLB Pick:  Rangers +130
Best Line Offered:  at The Greek

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