The Cubs stayed hot with a win Friday night over the White Sox, and this handicapper is thinking about riding the Cubbies again Saturday.
Cubs-Sox Saturday Odds
As of early Saturday AM the best price we could find on the Cubs with Jake Arrieta was the -114 offered at GT Bets, while the Sox and lefty Jose Quintana were getting +115 at Bovada. And every book on our MLB odds board listed a total on tonight's game of 7.5 runs.
The Cubbies took the opener of this series Friday afternoon 6-5, with big help from a pair of homers from Chris Coghlan. So the outfit from the North Side now owns an eight-game winning streak, while the loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the South Siders.
At 66-48 the Cubbies trail first-place St. Louis by 7.5 games in the NL Central, but lead San Francisco by 4.5 games in the race for the second National League wild-card spot.
At 54-59 the White Sox are only five games behind the Angels in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot, but they sure don't seem too interested in trying to make up ground in that cause.
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on July 12, a 3-1 Cubs victory.
Quintana (6-9, 3.59), by our strict standards, is 15-for-23 on quality starts this season, and three for his last four. Last Sunday he gave up four runs through 6 2/3 innings against Kansas City, but over his three previous starts he allowed just four runs through 21 1/3 innings. On the season Quintana has allowed more hits, 159, than innings pitched, 148, but his strikeouts/walks ratio is excellent, at 127/31.
The White Sox are 9-14 in Quintana's starts, while the totals have leaned UNDER by a 14-9 margin.
In three career starts against the Cubs Quintana has allowed eight runs and 13 hits through 20 1/3 innings; the Sox, thanks to some poor run support, only won one of those games.
Arrieta (13-6, 2.38) is also 15-for-23 on quality starts, and three for his last three. Last Sunday he tossed 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against San Francisco, and over his last three starts he's allowed just two runs through 20 2/3 innings. On the season Arrieta has allowed just 115 hits through 155 innings, walked 39 and struck out 158.
The Cubbies are 15-8 in Arrieta's starts, with the UNDERS rolling to a 13-5 mark.
Arrieta started once against the Sox last year, giving up three earned runs through four innings, but in his one start against them this season he allowed just one run and two hits through nine innings, with zero walks and nine whiffs, in that 3-1 Cubs win.
Saturday's Batting Splits
The Cubs rank 19th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .247 team batting average, but eighth with a .330 team on-base percentage.
On the other hand, the White Sox rank 16th against right-handed pitching with a .253 average and 21st with a .309 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Cell this season are 35-20 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.4 runs per.
Cubs-Sox Saturday Free Picks
The July 12 meeting between these two starting pitchers produced a 3-1 Cubs victory, and today's game could very well play out along those same lines. We'll take the Cubbies for our , in tandem with the UNDER.
MLB Picks: Cubbies and UNDER 7.5 runs (-101) at 5Dimes