MLB Picks: Cubs vs. Red Sox Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, June 30, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

Monday, Jun. 30, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

How bad are things going for Boston? If the Sox aren't careful, they might get swept at home by the Cubs. They'll try to avoid such a fate, and we'll try to offer up a winner on a free MLB pick, when the teams meet for this series finale Wednesday night (7:10 pm ET, ESPN).

 

2nd July
Cubs vs. Red Sox Game 3

By: Ron Patrick

 

Wednesday's Betting Odds
As of Wednesday morning the best line we could find on Boston and Brandon Workman was the -153 offered at Pinnacle, while Chicago and Travis Wood could be gotten at +148 at 5Dimes. And most books were lining the total on tonight's game at nine runs.


Tuesday Re-Hash
Boston led 1-0 into the sixth, but the Cubbies tied the game on a couple of hits and a ground out, then pushed across another run in the ninth and held on for a 2-1 victory.

Chicago won as a +155 dog on Tuesday's MLB betting board, and the game, to our great disappointment, never approached its total of nine runs.

When two guys with a combined ERA of 11 (Clay Buchholz and Edwin Jackson) hold foes to two runs through 12 innings of work, you know those offenses are struggling.


Whirling Wednesday
Workman (1-1, 3.27) is 2/6 on quality starts this season, to go along with three relief appearances. Last Friday he gave up four runs in seven innings against the Yankees, but over his last three starts he's allowed six runs through 19 2/3 innings.

On the season Workman has allowed just 30 hits in 41 innings, walked 14 and struck out 33. Boston is 2-4 in Workman's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 4-2 margin.

Workman has never before faced the Cubs.

Wood (7-6, 4.52) is 6/16 on quality starts this year. Last time out he gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Nationals, and over his last five starts he's given up 11 runs through 31 innings.

On the season Wood has allowed 95 hits in 96 innings, walked 39 and struck out 77. Chicago, a team that's 10 games under .500 overall, is 9-7 in Wood's starts, with the totals going 9-7.

This will be Wood's first-ever start against Boston.


Free Pick for Wednesday
Wood has run a bit hot-n-cold this season, but we've had success backing him in the past. And he's getting a nice underdog price. So we'll go with the Cubbies for our free MLB pick on Wednesday's series finale.

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1st July
Cubs vs. Red Sox Game 2

By: Ron Patrick

 

Tuesday's Betting Odds
As of Tuesday morning the best price we could find on Boston and Clay Buchholz was the -156 offered at Pinnacle, while Chicago and Edwin Jackson could be found at +151 at 5Dimes.


Monday Re-Hash
Arrieta turned in his fifth straight quality performance, holding Boston hit-less until Stephen Drew's two-out single in the eighth inning, leading to Chicago's 2-0 victory.

The Cubs themselves only managed five hits, the key blow a two-run homer from Nate Schierholtz in the fourth. But to our delight they won as +140 dogs on the MLB betting line, while the game never approached its total of 8.5 runs.

Chicago has now scored three or fewer runs in seven of its last 10 games, while Boston has scored three or fewer in 13 of its last 16 games.


Tuesday's Twirlers
Buchholz (3-4, 6.75) will be making his second start since coming off the DL. In his first start back last Wednesday against Seattle he gave up four runs through 7 1/3 innings of a 5-4 Boston victory.

On the season Buchholz is 4/11 on quality starts, having allowed 82 hits in just 57 innings, walking 24 while striking out 41. Boston is 5-6 in Buchholz' starts, with the totals going 7-3.

This will be Buchholz' first-ever start against the Cubs.

Jackson (5-8, 5.22) is just 3/16 on quality starts, and has been especially mediocre as of late. Last time out he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings against Cincinnati, and over his last four starts he's given up 17 ER through 21 innings.

For the season Jackson has allowed 97 hits in 90 innings, walked 39 and struck out 85. Chicago is just 5-11 in Jackson's starts, with the totals going 9-5.

This will be Jackson's first start against the Red Sox since 2010, when he was with the White Sox.


Tuesday's Free Pick
Even though both teams have struggled to score runs lately, we think there's a chance of a breakout tonight. So we'll go with the 'over' nine runs at the -114 offered at Pinnacle for today's free MLB pick.

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30th June
Cubs vs. Red Sox Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Cubs-Sox Betting Odds
In the early betting on Monday's series opener the best price we could find on Boston and Jake Peavy was the -144 offered at 5Dimes, while Chicago and Jake Arrieta could be gotten at +142 at BetOnline.

The Sox could also be found at around +140 on the run line.

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Series Set-Up
Boston just took two of three games from the Yankees in New York over the weekend, winning Sunday 8-5 to complete a 4-6 road trip.

At 38-44 the Red Sox are in fourth place in the AL East, six games behind first-place Toronto.

Meanwhile, Chicago just split four games at home against Washington, winning the first two games, then losing a  doubleheader Saturday by scores of 3-0 and 7-2. The Cubbies then had Sunday off.

At 34-46 Chicago is mired in last place in the NL Central, 15 games behind first-place Milwaukee.

These two classic MLB franchises last met two seasons ago, when the Sox took two of three games from the Cubs at Wrigley.


Monday's Starters
Peavy (1-6, 4.93) is 7/16 on quality starts this season, but just one for his last five. Last Tuesday he got bombed in Seattle for seven runs in five innings, and over his last five outings he's allowed 20 ER in 30 2/3 innings.

On the season the former Padre has allowed 106 hits, including 16 homers, in 99 innings, walked 38 and struck out 74. Boston is just 5-11 in Peavy's starts, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by an 11-4 margin, mainly because of poor run support.

Peavy, pitching for the White Sox, started once against the Cubbies last year, giving up six runs in four innings of an 8-3 loss.

Arrieta (4-1, 2.05) is 5/10 on quality starts, but four for his last four, as he's been one of the best starters in the league this month. Last Tuesday he held Cincinnati to two runs and three hits through seven innings, walking none while striking out nine, and over his last four starts he's allowed just three runs and 13 hits through 27 innings.

For the season the former Oriole has allowed 48 hits in 57 innings, walked 15 and whiffed 64. The Cubs are 7-3 in Arrieta's starts, with the totals leaning 'under' 5-3.

Arrieta, pitching for Baltimore, started once against the Red Sox last year, allowing three runs in five innings of an 8-5 O's win.

In the battle of the bullpens for this series Boston ranks fifth in ERA at 2.96, going 21/28 on save conversions, while Chicago ranks seventh in ERA at 3.13, going 16/27 on save chances.


At the Bat
Chicago ranks 29th in team OBP at .293 and 25th in scoring at 3.8 runs per game.

Boston ranks 10th in OBP at .321 but 24th in scoring at 3.8 RPG.


Cubs-Sox Betting Trends
Chicago is 15-24 on the road this season.

Boston has skewed toward the 'unders' this season by a 48-31 margin, and games played at Fenway Park have leaned 'under' 26-13.


Free Pick for Monday
Today's two starters are headed in different directions, and yet Peavy is favored. So in looking for value we'll go with the Cubs for our free pick on Monday's series opener.

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