How To Bet Chalky Odds To Your Avantage In Cubs vs. Brewers Matchup

Jason Lake

Saturday, July 23, 2016 12:37 PM UTC

Saturday, Jul. 23, 2016 12:37 PM UTC

John Lackey was having a fine season for the Cubs, but the MLB odds haven't been kind to him lately. Will he rebound Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers?

Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee Brewers
And things were going so well for John Lackey. From May to mid-June, Lackey was outstanding – 10 straight quality starts for the Chicago Cubs. Since then? Just one in his last five games. It's one of the reasons why the Cubs (58-37, –6.14 units) have come back to the pack in the National League standings.

At least they're not the Milwaukee Brewers (40-54, –7.62 units). But given Lackey's recent struggles, the Brew Crew might be the right MLB pick for Saturday's matchup at the Keg, starting at 7:10 p.m. Eastern. The Cubs appear overvalued as –165 road faves, up from –153 at the open; our early consensus reports show 83 percent of bettors on Chicago at press time. It was a 50/50 split when the lines first opened.

Do the Puyallup
On the season, Lackey (3.75 FIP) is pitching about as well as he ever has, so maybe this past month or so is just regression to the mean. There doesn't seem to be any concern about a possible injury, at least nothing that's made it to the interwebs. So let's give Lackey the benefit of the doubt. In which case, the Cubs are still overpriced according to FiveThirtyEight. They like Chicago to win 59 percent of the time, or –144 on the SBR Betting Odds Converter.

Maybe people should get to know Milwaukee's projected starter a bit better. Zach Davies (4.10 FIP) is a second-year righty out of Puyallup, Washington (home of the State Fair); the Baltimore Orioles drafted Davies in the 26th round back in 2011, and he chose to turn pro rather than go to Arizona State University. He can always get his degree later. Davies is a low-risk, low-reward pitcher with average stuff, but his command is improving, and Milwaukee is up 1.78 units behind Davies on a team record of 8-8. There are worse fates than being an average MLB starter.

Fantasy Corner
Davies has just the one start against the Cubs on his CV, as a rookie last year, but it was a doozy: six shutout innings of two-hit baseball in a 4-1 win for the Brewers (+204 away). That makes Saturday's MLB odds seem even chalkier. But what about some Milwaukee hitting for your fantasy team? Current Brewers only have a combined .682 OPS against Lackey; however, 2B Scooter Gennett (.721 OPS this year) is 5-for-14 lifetime versus the veteran northpaw with a .829 OPS, and Gennett is owned in just 4.6 percent of ESPN leagues at press time.

The Cubs are 5-2 since the All-Star break, including Friday's 5-2 victory over Milwaukee (+141), so there's no need to panic in the Windy City. But at these prices, we'll have to recommend the Brew Crew for your baseball picks, and may the sphere be with you.


Free MLB Pick: Brewers +150
Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction
Record: 18-16 ML, 7-3-1 Totals (+6.47 units)
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