Keen Capper Gives Up Runs As Arrieta & Wacha Hit The Mound

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2016 12:42 PM UTC

Read on as our MLB handicapper is back on track with the Cubs against the Cardinals and makes his Wednesday pick explaining why fading the NL Central leaders is not a good idea.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
A getaway game for me here at SBR, as I head out to an annual college reunion known as the “Bender” for the rest of the week. It’s basically a 72-hour poker marathon and escape from daily responsibilities once a year. A complete and utter shit show where lawyers, CFO’s, and other fancy titles become 19-year olds once again and say things to each other that would get us fired in a split second in our normal jobs.

One of my colleagues is a math professor in the Cal State system, and by ‘professor’ I mean a tenured professor, which means he can’t be fired no matter how lazy he is at this point in his career. He pointed out that in my last article that I explained the only way to better a better MLB pick record is to make more picks! Complete gambler’s fallacy there, and although his thoughts are usually feculent in nature, this time he was correct as the Cubs squandered many chances to win a game I picked them to win last night. Point is, the MLB season is a grind and you better be ready to stick to a system or have your bankroll wiped out in a single night.

Luckily, I’m getting another shot at the Cardinals at the Cubs again on Wednesday night. As the Cubs uber-pitcher, Jake Arrieta, takes the mound. Speaking of shots, the Chicago Cubs offense looks to inoculate the Cardinals starting pitcher of Michael Wacha again, who gave up a season high 8 earned runs against the Cubbies on May 24th over just 4 innings pitched. The opening MLB odds are strongly in favor of the Cubs with Arrieta pitching, as they have been all year, odds as steep as -300 favoring Chicago at BookMaker.

Wacha has had a rough opening to his season, following up a 17-7 campaign in 2015 with a 2-7 start in 2016. Over the year he has posted a 4.56 ERA, 70/30 K/BB rate, 1.41 WHIP, and .263 batting average allowed. Although those numbers reflect the worst statistics Wacha has put up in his career a case can be made that he is getting very unlucky on the mound. Wacha’s fielding independent pitching (FIP) mark stands at 3.50 this season, actually better than last season’s mark of 3.87. Part of this is his BABIP of .321 in 2016, which is much worse than his career average of .286. It appears that Wacha has some positive regression due his way.

For the Cubs, I guess they should consider themselves lucky that the pitcher they acquired in 2014 at the age of 28 peaked late. At 30 years old, Jake Arrieta is having on of the most dominant 2 season stretches of baseball ever pitched. Hence, the straight up wacko MLB odds for the Cubs when he is on the mound. So far in 2016, Arrieta has compiled an 11-1 record in 14 starts, 1.74 ERA, 101/31 K/BB rate, 0.95 WHIP, and .173 batting average against. An extreme ground ball inducer with an excellent defense to back him, Arrieta’s .240 BABIP shows no sign of regressing – it has been under .250 for almost two seasons now.

As it was known last night, I don’t like picking against the Cubs at home this year, where they are 25-10 straight up. Add to this that Wacha has a career 6.21 ERA against the Cubs and Arrieta a 2.45 ERA against the Cardinals and you have a true one-sided matchup. Even though I hate giving up runs, all signs point to the Cubs at -1.5 on the run line as the value pick here for Wednesday’s MLB action.

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Free MLB Picks: Cubs at -1.5 -110 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes
MLB 2016 Record: 30-14-2, +15.21 Units

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