The Chicago Cubs are rolling along with a 6-game win streak, but are underdogs in MLB odds for Wednesday's nationally televised game against the San Francisco Giants.
Jake Arrieta tossed his 13th consecutive quality start and Chicago hitters banged out three homers to lead the Cubs to an 8-5 decision in Tuesday's series opener against the Giants in San Francisco.
The victory was the sixth straight for Chicago, longest winning streak going in the majors right now, and the Cubs will try and make it seven Wednesday evening when ESPN broadcasts the final game on the baseball betting board (10:15 PM ET). Kyle Hendricks gets the ball from Chicago manager Joe Maddon, Jake Peavy the choice for Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, and the contest is close to a pick 'em with current MLB odds listing San Francisco -110. A 7 run total is priced fairly even high and low.
Cubs On 5-0 Run With Hendricks On Hill
Despite Hendricks' 5.60 ERA over his last five assignments, the Cubs have won them all by supplying plenty of offense (6.4 rpg). The best and worst of those starts came on the road, a solid performance in a 4-2 victory at Milwaukee and an ugly effort at the White Sox who knocked Hendricks from the mound before he could finish the fourth inning.
The stretch also included an 8-6 decision over the Giants at Wrigley Field, Hendricks' career debut vs. San Fran that ended successfully as -135 chalk. The Dartmouth alum has a 4.44 ERA on the road, Chicago 6-7 in the matchups to drop 1½ units against the MLB moneylines.
After looking good in his first seven starts after returning from the DL in early July, Peavy has taken a step back his last two assignments. Opposing hitters collected 16 hits -- two of them sailing into the bleachers -- and scored nine times in fewer than 12 innings for Peavy, though the Giants did manage to split the games. The veteran righthander did okay at Wrigley a little more than two weeks ago (5 IP, 2 RT), but got no help from the offense in a 2-0 setback. Peavy sports a 2.80 career ERA in more than 102 innings against the Cubs, his teams winning 10 of the 17 starts.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Currently in his first season at the major league level, Ryan Blakney is up next in the umpire rotation to call balls and strikes for this crew. One of the youngest field arbiters in the business, Blakney turned 30 earlier this year after getting promoted from the Pacific Coast League and hasn't revealed much in terms of trends so far in his 15 plate assignments. Home teams are 8-7 (6-5 as favorites) while totals have run 7-8 O/U, 3-5 O/U when the MLB odds close with a 7-7½ run mark.
Chicago's bats have been getting it done recently, and with this pitching matchup, I'm liking another 'over' for my free MLB pick tonight.
My pick: Cubs-Giants Over 7 (-105) @ 5Dimes