MLB Picks: Profit Off Cardinals & Cubs -130 Uneven Pitching Matchup

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, September 20, 2015 3:01 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 20, 2015 3:01 PM UTC

While everyone is watching the NFL, take advantage with the fantastic value this pitching matchup presents in MLB action. Join us as we preview the betting odds and share o free MLB pick.

Cardinals vs. Cubs- 2:20 PM ETS
The NL playoffs teams are all but set, with the only real question being who can win the NL Central. The Cardinals, Cubs, and Pirates look to be locks to make the playoffs and the Cards hold a five game lead over each of the other teams at time of writing. However, the Cardinals have the upper hand in regards to scheduling, as their next two series are against the basement of the NL Central in the Reds and Brewers. It would have to be an epic collapse for them not to take the division given the Cubs and Pirates play each other at the same time. St. Louis has won 92 games already, after all.

This Sunday matinee in Chicago features Cubs starter, Jon Lester, and Cardinal starter, Carlos Martinez. The early opening MLB odds have the home team Cubs favored at -130 on the money line at Pinnacle.

St. Louis starter, Carlos Martinez, hasn’t had the best of luck against the Cubs, posting a 5.04 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 26/12 K/BB rate, and .273 BAA over his career. This year has been especially challenging for the right-hander, as the Cubs have pasted him for a 6.32 ERA and 1.91 WHIP. Although he has appeared in six games in Chicago, this will be Martinez’s first start at Wrigley Field. His 11.2% HR/FB rate will be tested in Chicago depending on the weather, although it looks like wind won’t be a factor on Sunday.

Martinez has pitched 172.2 innings through last Tuesday, exceeding early predictions that he would be on a pitch limit of 150 innings. Either fatigue or the effects of being rusty after being skipped in the rotation lately are all red flags for Martinez at this point.

Although Jon Lester’s record is an unassuming 10-10, he has pitched solid this year while putting up a 3.38 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 185/44 K/BB rate, and .244 BAA. Lester has been excellent against the Cardinals as well in 2015, posting a 1.78 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and a .200 BAA over four starts. His bullpen has let him down in some of those games however, as he has just a 1-2 record to show for his efforts. Lester hasn’t shown much of a split against left and right-handers, but it is very important for him to get a first pitch strike. His BAA after getting a first strike over the plate is .201. After a first pitch ball his BAA climbs all the way to .281. The veteran has put up 4.4 WAR this year after posting a 5.6 WAR season in 2014, so he is earning all of the $15 million owed to him for 2015.


The MLB Pick
With one team all but having the division locked up, and the other fighting for a home wild card game, I’ll have to give the motivation factor in this one to the Chicago Cubs. They could be clinging to the outside chance they could catch up to the Cards, and this is basically it for giving them that shot. The diversion of stats for each of these pitchers against the opposing lineup is alarming and in also in favor of the Cubs. Frankly, I think that the money line odds of -130 in favor of the Cubs won’t last long, and this line will swing towards them even more. I was partially hoping that they would blow the game late on Saturday, to heed this off, but alas they held on by a thread. Jump on the Cubs at -130 on the money line at Pinnacle early before his line gets out of whack for your Sunday MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Cubs -130 at Pinnacle

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