Lester to Pitch Cubs Past Indians for 2-Game Sweep

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 12:02 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018 12:02 PM UTC

Chicago blasted four homers on Tuesday to win as underdogs on the MLB odds, and they’re ‘dogs again Wednesday when they close out a short set in Cleveland.

Chicago Cubs (11-9 SU, 10-9-1 O/U) at Cleveland Indians (12-9 SU, 7-14 O/U)Free MLB Pick: CubsBest Line Offered: Betmania

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It would’ve been impossible for Chicago and Cleveland to repeat the drama of their last matchup, and Tuesday’s 10-3 final certainly didn’t. But with tight baseball odds for Wednesday’s affair, maybe the Cubs and Indians can provide a little bit of the magic they gave us in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

ESPN goes on the air at 7 PM (ET) with the conclusion of this short 2-game series, the Cubs returning the hospitality by hosting the Indians in Chicago a month from now. The initial mound duel pits Jon Lester (2-0, 3.10) against Trevor Bauer (1-2, 2.67), and it’s the Tribe who are favored from -120 to -130 on the money line with totals available in the 7½-8 range.

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Ohio is for Schwarbers. pic.twitter.com/j8cHqU1mGq

— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 25, 2018

Lester & Bauer Met on Game 5 of 2016 Fall Classic

Kyle Schwarber swatted two homers to lead a long ball barrage for Chicago in the series opener, the Cubs winning as +124 underdogs at Bookmaker. The final went past a 9-run total after three of their four-regular season matchups in 2015 stayed ‘under.’ During the 2016 World Series, Games 1 & 2 in Cleveland were ‘under’ winners’ while Games 6 & 7 went ‘over’ the totals.

Lester has endured a couple of rough outings, but the bottom line is Chicago has won all four of his starts thanks to the offense plating at least eight runs each game. He faced the Indians once in 2015, losing a shutout bid in the ninth to take a no-decision in an eventual 2-1 Chicago victory, and saw them three times in the 2016 World Series when he lost Game 1, won Game 5 and tossed three innings of relief in Game 7. Bauer has pitched well only to see Cleveland’s offense fail him for losses in three of his four assignments. Bauer lost Games 2 & 5 of the World Series against the Cubs, and pitched out of the ‘pen in Game 7.

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Lance Barksdale is in line to call the mound offerings for this one, No. 23 in your umpire program off to a 3-1 O/U tendency to begin 2018. That follows a strong lean to the low side the past two seasons when 40 of his 64 plate assignments finished ‘under’ to go with six pushes. His last two games behind the mask were in chilly New York where the Mets, Yankees and their opponents combined for 27 runs to annihilate 7½-8½ run totals.

Rain showers will linger in the Cleveland area until mid-afternoon before giving way to cloudy skies and temps in the low-to-mid 40s for the contest, a 10-15 mph NNW wind (in from left) also in the mix. With underdogs continuing to do me well, that’s the way I’m going with my free MLB pick.

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