MLB World Series Betting - Cubs Will Bounce Back On Game 2 At Cleveland

Jake Arrieta

Willie Bee

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 1:34 PM UTC

Down 1-0 in the World Series, Chicago turns to Jake Arrieta against Cleveland, and we've got a free MLB pick for Game 2 between the Cubs and Indians.

Season: 46-46 (+2.50) Postseason: 3-6 (-3.20)

Got to say right off the bat that as much as I respect Joe Maddon, he's wrong to start Jake Arrieta for the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

Yeah, I know, Arrieta has been a huge piece of Maddon's machine the past couple of years, and a great choice for the mound with Chicago down quickly in the Series. But he's the best-hitting pitcher the Cubs have, and seems better suited to start one of the games this weekend in Wrigleyville. Now, Arrieta would have to be brought back on short rest to pitch Game 5 in Chicago if he is to get a World Series at bat.

Following a 6-0 win in the opener, Cleveland shoots for a 2-0 lead in front of the home fans this evening when Trevor Bauer delivers the game's first pitch at 7:08 PM (ET). Arrieta begins work three outs later, and it's his Cubs who are solid -150 favorites, the take-back on the Indians at +145. A 7 run total at 5Dimes sportsbook is priced -105 both high and low.


How Long Will Bauer Be Able To Pitch?

Cleveland struck early against Jon Lester on Tuesday as +100 underdogs on the MLB odds, plating two in the first via a couple of singles, a pair of walks and hit batsmen. Roberto Perez clubbed two homers out of the 9-hole to drive in the other four Indians runs, and it was more than enough offense for the combined 15-strikeout pitching of Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen.

Arrieta hasn't pitched in eight days, and both of his postseason starts turned into Chicago road losses. The Cubs were 11-4 behind Arrieta on the road during the regular season compared to 9-7 when he pitched at home, but his ERA was nearly a run lower at Wrigley (2.62) than away (3.59). Arrieta also hit .262 for the season, swatting a couple of homers and driving in seven to lead all Chicago pitchers.

Bauer is the perfect choice for Terry Francona to pitch. If the right-hander is still bothered by his injured right pinky and the start cut short as it was in the ALCS nine days ago, Francona can turn things over to his 'pen early knowing he has tomorrow off to rest some of those arms before Game 3. The one problem is Bauer's trouble keeping pitches inside the confines of Progressive Field this season, 15 of the 20 homers he allowed coming in Cleveland.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Chris Guccione is tasked with calling balls and strikes in Game 2, the Colorado native a boon to bettors playing home teams and 'unders' during the regular season. Home teams were 18-11 with Guccione behind the dish the first six months of the campaign (8-2 as the underdog), totals going 9-17-3 O/U/P. Those trends continued in the playoffs, the 17-year veteran calling Game 2 of the NLDS in Washington where the Nationals defeated the Dodgers by a 5-2 count, the final just finishing below a 7½ run total. He worked starts by both Arrieta and Bauer during the regular season, those games getting 'over' a 7½ run mark and pushing a 9 run total, respectively.

Maybe the best wager to make on this game is will the weather cooperate.  Chilly and damp is probably the best it's going to be, the likelihood of rain increasing as the evening wears on. Look for the upper-40s when Bauer takes the hill and a 12-15 mph east wind (in from right).

So having been critical of Maddon's choice to pitch Arrieta tonight, does that mean my free baseball pick will be on the Indians? Of course not! I fully expect Chicago's hitters to bounce back from the shutout and get to Bauer enough to cover the run line to send this Series to the Windy City deadlocked at one win apiece.

Remember to drop by SBR's best-ranked sportsbooks to find out which shops are offering the top-rated bonuses.


Free MLB Pick: Cubs -1½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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