Follow Series Trend With 'Over' Play In Cubs-Red Sox Finale

Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks

Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:07 PM GMT

The MLB odds have been tight the entire series between the Cubs and Red Sox, and it is once again when the two pennant favorites wrap up their weekend on Sunday Night Baseball.

CH Cubs vs Boston Red Sox  

Baseball's schedule-makers often take a lot of flack for their work, but tonight they deserve credit for setting up the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox to close out the season's first month with a prime-time telecast from historic Fenway Park. The entire series has been bandied about as a potential World Series preview, and it all begins on ESPN at 8 PM (ET).

Serving as the initial mound counterparts are Kyle Hendricks and Eduardo Rodriguez and it's the home side priced as slight -112 favorites. Both of the first two games in the series just scraped 'over' the totals, and tonight's number dipped from 9 to 8½ in early action.

The clubs split those first two games, Boston scoring early and then holding on for a 5-4 decision on Friday in a game that closed near a pick on the MLB odds. Chicago set up the rubber game by using three home runs to rally from a hole Saturday to take a 7-4 triumph. It's just the fifth regular season series between the Cubs and Sox after they first met in the 1918 World Series, the teams an even 10-10 overall including that postseason collision.

 

Each Hurler Working On Scoreless Inning Strings

After scuffling his first three starts when he allowed 11 earned runs in 16 innings, Hendricks looked like the ERA champ that he was a year ago the last time out with six innings of zeroes at the Pirates. All four of his starts to date have come against either Milwaukee or Pittsburgh, with tonight's assignment his first against the Red Sox and 10th of the interleague variety.

Rodriguez is also coming off six innings of shutout baseball, limiting the Orioles to just one hit though he walked five in last Sunday's 6-2 win at Baltimore. The effort followed a short demotion to the bullpen after giving up seven runs (6 earned) in his first two starts at Detroit and home against Pittsburgh. The game against the Pirates, in which he didn't figure in the decision, was just the fourth interleague start for Rodriguez, losing to the Dodgers and Marlins before that while beating the Phillies.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Bruce Dreckman, who missed the entire 2016 season while on medical leave, is next up in the umpire rotation to call balls and strikes. It's his fifth plate assignment of the year, three of the previous four going 'over,' and his first in Boston since the 2013 campaign.

It's supposed to be a chilly and cloudy evening in Beantown, the thermometer in the upper-40s at game time with a 10-12 mph SE wind (RF corner to the Green Monster). Despite Boston's bats sitting in an early-season slumber, I'm following the series trend with my free baseball pick on the scoreboard barrier being breached.

 

Free MLB Pick: Over 8½ Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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