Rely On Hammel To Thrive At Wrigley As Cubs Look For A Home Cookin' Game 3

Jason Hammel

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 2:05 PM GMT

The Cubs dropped the first two in this four game home-and-home series but return to Wrigley tonight hoping for different results. Let's review the MLB odds and get on the right side of this matchup.

Swinger’s MLB Record: 56-28, +27.07 units
I have backed one huge underdog and three good sized favorites in my last four MLB picks and have lost each and every one. Yesterday was more of the same as I jumped on the Cubs early as I thought the MLB odds makers at BetOnline.com were dealing a fairly generous -158 on Kyle Hendricks and the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs. Ultimately I was right about the line, as it spiked to as high as -200 in some offshore shops, but very wrong with the selection. Once again the White Sox prevailed, 3-0 this time, and I tore up my fourth consecutive ticket.

For a long time, it appeared as though I had forgotten how to lose but sports gambling is a cruel game and just when you think you have it all figured out...well you know the rest. Nothing more to say on the topic other than shake it off and move on. Let's go!

 

White Sox Tap Ranaudo
The White Sox ace Chris Sale is serving a five-game suspension for destroying team equipment, therefore Anthony Ranaudo will get the assignment this evening at Wrigley. Ranaudo was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to fill the void and is 5-4 with a 6.33 ERA in 13 career MLB games including nine starts.

The 26-year-old hurler out of LSU has yet to fulfill his vast potential and was acquired from Texas earlier this season in hopes that he would make it to the major league club on his own merit. However, this is an emergency start more than it is a promotion. This season he has seen big league action twice, both for his former team, and allowed seven runs in three plus innings earlier in the year. The White Sox have now won four straight and will look to make it five tonight.

 

Hammel Gunning for Third Straight
Jason Hammel (9-5, 3.35 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) will get the nod tonight for the slumping Cubs and looks to continue his modest string of impressive performances since the All-Star break. The 6'6" native of Greenville, South Carolina is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in those appearances and boasts a 4-1 mark with a 2.70 ERA in eight starts at Wrigley Field this season.

Though Hammel is pitching well, he will have to get some support out of a lineup that has been amongst the best this season but fell silent last night in the club's 3-0 loss. Chicago has produced the 498 runs this season which ranks them 4th in the league and owns a team on base percentage of .345 which is good for 2nd in the bigs.

 

Betting Analysis
I have been backing the better pitchers who happen to be pitching for the statistically better teams and sometimes you pay a heavy price for that privilege. That strategy hasn't worked well over the last three games but it is not one I am going to abandon anytime soon. Jason Hammel is a reliable, consistent pitcher who has thrived at home this season.

In addition, the Cubs are 20-9 in their last 29 home games versus teams with a losing record and are 30-16 overall at Wrigley this season. In addition, the White Sox are throwing mud at a wall and hoping it sticks in the form of the relatively untested Anthony Ranaudo. It is only a matter of time before the Cubs' offense comes to life and it could very well be against an inexperienced pitcher like Ranaudo.

If all of the above is not enough to convince you to back the Cubbies, let's not forget that Aroldis Chapman is waiting in the wings to throw smoke in front of his new home crowd. But personally, I think Chapman's debut will have to wait because I don't see a save situation here as this one will be a blowout. That is why we are double-dipping in this one with a money-line and run-line wager.

 

Free MLB Picks: Cubs -200 & Cubs -1½ -125 
Best Line Offered: Cubs -200 at GTBets & Cubs -1½ -125 at Heritage

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