MLB Free Pick: Arrieta, Cubs Deliver Dubya at White Sox

Willie Bee

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 12:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 26, 2017 12:13 PM UTC

The Cubs continue to be huge favorites on the MLB odds in this year’s edition of the Windy City reckoning as the series shifts to the home of the White Sox on Wednesday.

MLB Season Record: 50-55-1 (-3.25)

A short ‘L’ ride awaits the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox when they continue their rivalry Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.11) gets the start for the Cubs against James Shields (2-2, 5.79), the visitors priced as high as -230 on the MLB odds with 9½ for the total.

Chi-Town combat cranked up Monday at Wrigley where the White Sox hung a 3-1 number on the Cubs, who closed as prohibitive -270 chalk at 5Dimes. The Cubs evened the set with a 7-2 decision Tuesday. The South Siders have won three in a row on their turf from the North Siders, two of those three victories also cashing for ‘under’ bettors.


Shields Not The Same Since Returning From DL

The Cubs might be 2-2 in his four July assignments, but Arrieta has pitched well this month with a 2.13 ERA in those 25+ innings. The bullpen let him down at home last Friday vs. the Cardinals after he tossed six 2-run frames, and Arrieta has three quality efforts in his last four road starts. The Cubs are 3-1 in his four appearances in this rivalry, Arrieta posting a 3.51 ERA in those games -- that number ballooning to 4.86 on the South Side.

Shields’ fast start to the 2017 season was derailed by a 2-month DL stint due to a strained lat, and he has been knocked around to the tune of an 8.10 ERA in six starts since returning. The ChiSox lost five of those games, the most recent last Friday in KC where the Royals chased him in the fifth having already plated six. Shields did have some decent showings against the Cubs while he was in San Diego, two wins in three starts along with a 2.18 ERA, but that must be tempered by the 5.20 ERA in his last 21 assignments at home with the Pale Hose.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

We expect the crew to move crosstown with the teams, and that puts John Tumpane behind the plate for Wednesday’s battle. The Illinois native has developed a slight ‘under’ tendency on the year with four of his last five games behind the mask going that way to leave him with a 6-9-1 O/U/P record. All three games he’s worked involving either the Cubs or White Sox – including a recent Arrieta start – stayed ‘under.’

There is a chance of a stray shower interrupting this game, the weatherman also calling for a first-pitch reading of 83° along with a 6-10 mph southerly breeze (in from right). I like the Cubs for my free baseball pick, and like them enough to go with a run-line wager.

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -1½ (-115)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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