MLB Picks: Bet The Fish In Saturday's Cubs vs. Marlins Game

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Saturday, Jun. 25, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Cubs broke free of their four-game funk with a victory over the Marlins yesterday. The third of this four-game set is slated for this afternoon, so we analyze the matchup and the MLB odds.

The season has gone along swimmingly this season as we are up a click over 19 units on a winning percentage of over 66 percent. You just can't ask for more than that but two of my losses have come due to laying 1½ runs on a big favorite instead of manning up and laying the lumber. On both occasions the heavy chalk won by a single run which is a more painful, though less costly, way to lose than having those big numbers lose outright. No guts, no glory. And that is the price I pay for being a eunuch in a game where big, brass ones come in handy at times.

I bring this up because in my last MLB picks column on Thursday I sided with the heavily favored Boston Red Sox, installed by the MLB odds makers at -227 on the money line and -1½ (-125) on the run line. I liked this spot, and David Price, so very much that I bet them on the money and run lines as a way to double dip on my wager. Once again, the damn run line got me as the BoSox claimed an 8-7 rollercoaster victory over the White Sox. So, it was a split that I got and a split that I deserved by deviating from my "money-line only" strategy and wandering into Suckerland. Time to forgive, forget and move on. Let's go.

Chicago Cubs (48-24, +6.1 units)
The latest export from Venezuela brought plenty of joy to the Windy City yesterday as super-sub Wilson Contreras launched his third long ball since being called up to the parent club just over a week ago and drove in the go-ahead run in yesterday's 5-4 win over the Marlins. Contreras is now hitting .412 with three home runs and eight RBI in only 17 at-bats. But the news wasn't all good as second baseman Ben Zobrist left the game after sustaining a bruised ankle when he was hit by a Mike Dunn pitch. Anthony Rizzo (stiff back) and catcher Miguel Montero (knee) were held out of yesterday's contest but one or both are expected to return this afternoon.

The Cubs will trot out John Lackey (7-3, 2.78, ERA, 0.98 WHIP) to the hill this afternoon. Lackey last took the mound Monday when he fell to the Cardinals by the score of 3-2, surrendering three runs on seven hits in six innings of work. The 37-year-old veteran last faced the Marlins in August of last year when he went eight plus innings, allowing a pair of runs on nine hits, en route to a 6-2 victory.


Miami Marlins (39-35, +4.1 units)
The Marlins rode a four -game winning streak into their second of four with the visiting Cubs but were down 4-0 before the they even had their first at-bats. However, first baseman Justin Bour erased that deficit in a hurry when he blasted a grand slam to even the slate at the end of the first inning. Unfortunately for the hometown heroes the Cubs plated a run in the eighth and Miami fell 5-4. The Marlins have been underwhelming in terms of scoring runs this season, currently ranked 20th in the majors, but surprisingly their team batting average (.268) is among the best (5th) in the business. They also boast an on base percentage of .327 which places them 9th of 30 clubs.

Twenty-eight-year-old South Carolina native Paul Clemens will make his second start of the season after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans where he posted a 6-4 mark with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Clemens has had one start this season for the Cubs where he was touched for three runs on seven hits in a 5-3 loss to Colorado on Monday.


Betting Analysis
John Lackey is not nearly as good on the road as he is at home, sporting a 3.63 ERA on the highway versus a 2.01 ERA at Wrigley. There are also the injuries of Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero. As good as Wilson Contreras has been, do you think he will continue this torrid pace? If you think I am building a case for the Marlins - you're right.

Giancarlo Stanton has been in a funk this entire season. He signed a massive 13-year, $325 million contract in the offseason and all that money has borne lofty expectations from both the fans and the 26-year-old All-Star. All that hype comes with tremendous pressure to succeed and Stanton has wilted under the pressure thus far. But he may be turning the corner after blasting a home run, garnering a pair of RBI and getting on base three times over the past two games.

Let's look for a weary Cubs lineup that will play their 26th game in 28 days to take the day off. In addition, their starting pitchers Rizzo, Zobrist and Montero may not play or if they do, will most likely be operating at less than ideal efficiency. Give me the home dog here under the offensive spark that will be Giancarlo Stanton.

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Free MLB Pick:  Marlins +165
Best Line Offered:   at YouWager
MLB Record: 39-20, +19.02 units

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