Corey Kluber & Jon Lester take the mound. Odds makers didn't go crazy with the total on this one which I think tells us a lot and how this game is going to play out.
Odds makers came out with the total for this game at 7.5 and that is where it is at across the MLB betting odds board. That seems about the right number to me and I don't anticipate it moving a lot. The best odds on under the total are at -105 at Heritage sports, at most other places you can get under the 7.5 at regular odds of -110.
Corey Kluber gets the start for the Indians with a 3.52 ERA, 1.04 whip, 202 strikeouts, and it 8-13 record. In his last 10 starts he has actually had a couple rough outings but he is a good veteran pitcher so look for him to thrive in a playoff like atmosphere today in Chicago. In his last outing at Boston he allowed six earned runs off a six hits and a stunning four home runs. Don't anticipate for him to have that same type of start because he is too good of a pitcher to slump for long stretches of time.
Cleveland ranks 20th in runs per game at 4.00, 15th and OPS at .710, and 14th in batting average hitting .254 as a team. Those statistics mentioned though all go down on the road and their runs per game when traveling drop under four, there OPS drops under .700, and their team batting average goes from .267 in Cleveland to .242 away from home. They are a middle tiered offense but are in a tough spot today facing Jon Lester who is in the aforementioned bounce back spot.
Lester takes the mound with a 3.58 ERA, 1.23 whip, 153 strikeouts, and in 8-9 record. The nine year veteran has been really solid in his last 10 outings only having three subpar starts. The theme of this so is the bounce back spot and that is exactly what Lester is in today. He is coming off a horrible outing where he allowed seven earned runs off of seven hits in just two innings against the Detroit Tigers, and like Kluber he gave up a stunning three home runs. Also like Kluber, don't expect him to have another outing like that, he is simply just too good.
The Cubs rank 15th in runs scored per game at 4.13, 16th in OPS at .710, and 28th in team batting average hitting .242. What really should trouble them today though is the amount of strikeouts per game. They rank dead last in the major leagues at 9.17 strikeouts per game, and that is not a good statistic facing a great strikeout pitcher in Kluber. As well, most of the Cubs important offensive statistics go down in Chicago.
I think this number might be a reflection on how both these pitchers pitched their last time on the mound. I don't expect either of them pitching two poor games back to back and lean to them to be sharp today. That number at 7.5 just a little too high and I will gladly grab it and back the under.
MLB Pick: Under -105 at Heritage