Free MLB Picks: Lock Cubs For The Win In Their Opening Visit To Angels

Jason Lake

Sunday, April 3, 2016 11:27 AM GMT

The Chicago Cubs are the favorites on the MLB odds board to win the 2016 World Series. Their odyssey starts Monday night in Anaheim versus the Los Angeles Angels.

It has to happen sometime, right? The Chicago Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908, but they're the +500 favorites on the MLB futures market at Bovada, ahead of the San Francisco Giants (+800) and the Toronto Blue Jays (+1000). What can we tell you; people love betting on the Cubs.

Chicago's 2016 regular season opens Monday night (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) on the road in Anaheim, where the Los Angeles Angels will play host. The Angels have been pretty darn good for the last 16 years since Mike Scioscia took over as manager, but they're heading in the wrong direction as a franchise, falling to +4000 on the World Series futures market. L.A. is also a +125 home dog on the MLB odds board for Monday's opener.

 

Things Go Better With Jake
Success begins at the top, and the Cubs have been doing mostly the right things since the Ricketts family bought the club in 2009. They hired Theo Epstein as their President of Baseball Operations in 2011; you might remember Epstein as the man who broke the “Curse of the Bambino” in Boston, building the team that won the World Series in 2004 after 86 years of frustration.

So far, so good. Epstein and the Cubs made out like bandits in 2013 when they acquired Jake Arrieta from the Baltimore Orioles. Arrieta made his Chicago debut in 2014 and hasn't looked back, winning the National League Cy Young Award last year after posting a 2.35 FIP and leading the majors with 13.73 betting units in profit on a team record of 25-8. He'll get the Opening Day start for the Cubs.

Meanwhile, Scioscia appears to be the one pulling the strings in L.A. He “allegedly” helped force out GM Jerry Dipoto (now with the Seattle Mariners) last year after finally hearing enough about Dipoto's newfangled analytics. Then a whole flock of front-office personnel flew the coop after new GM Billy Eppler was hired. You can see where this train is headed. But at least the Halos still have Garrett Richards (3.86 FIP) starting Monday. He was good for a whopping 0.20 units in profit last year on a team record of 18-14.

 

Fantasy Corner
Given the situation on the ground and the pitching matchup, we'd definitely recommend someone from the Cubs for your fantasy team. The trick will be finding someone who's available. Reliever Justin Grimm (3.11 FIP) is a bit wild, and he's not quite ready for full-time closing duties, but if your league includes holds as a category, and you're not scared by his poor preseason results, go nuts. In the meantime, we'll take what should be a rare opportunity to put the Cubs in our MLB picks as a value play with Arrieta on the mound. It speaks volumes about where the Angels are right now.

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Free MLB Pick: Cubs -135
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline