MLB Wild Card
Can The Chicago Cubs Bounce Back Against Colorado Rockies?
The National League season went extra innings Monday playing two tie-breakers to determine the division winners. The Brewers beat the Cubs 3-1 in Chicago to win the National League Central while the LA Dodgers held on at home 5-2 over the Rockies to win the National League West. Now the Cubs host the Rockies Tuesday night in the 1-game wild card elimination contest, and the winner advances to the division series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The true post season begins now, with the MLB wild card games.
The LA Dodgers will host the Atlanta Braves in the other division series.
Here’s the betting breakdown and additional news and notes on the Cubs and Rockies wild card game where a pair of lefties will try to lead their teams to the divisional series.
MLB Wild Card – Colorado Rockies (91-72) at Chicago Cubs (95-68) – Oct. 2 at 8:00pm ET
Freeland (COL) +115 / +1.5 -185 / O 7.0 -110
Lester (CHC) -145 / -1.5 +145 / U 7.0 -110
If you’re looking for an edge from the season series, you won’t find any for MLB wild card betting purposes. The Cubs and Rockies have not played since May 2nd, but the teams split six games going 3-3, and each team also scored 33 runs in those contests.
The edge for the Cubs comes in the form of home field and less travel. The Cubs have played all their games in Chicago since Sept. 21 with only three games away from home against the White Sox on the South side. Colorado played at Los Angeles yesterday and now travel to Chicago.
Freeland starts on 3 days rest for Colorado, but he’s been superb since a poor April. The Rockies have won 16 of his last 20 starts and he’s posted a strong 2.32 ERA over that stretch. Considering he’s pitching at Coors Field, those numbers are even more impressive. So too is his ability to pitch at least 6.0 innings, which he’s done in each of his 11 starts without allowing more than 3 runs. However, his ERA on the road is 3.23 and Freeland has never pitched on short rest in his career. But the Rockies have their top-4 relievers ready Tuesday and they are in far better shape in the bullpen than the Cubs.
Check the weather and wind direction before wagering on the total, as it impacted the suppressed scoring in Monday’s game and 3-1 Brewers win over the Cubs.
Chicago veteran left-hander Jon Lester won 18 games this season while posting a 3.32 ERA. But his 1.31 WHIP was average, and he struggled terribly in July and early August with an ERA near 8.0. The Cubs bullpen is in bad shape, and Lester has only pitched past 6.0 innings in one of his last 14 starts with eight of those lasting less than 6 innings.
I don’t like the MLB wild card game in terms of outrights, but would consider betting the Rockies team total OVER 3.5 if available or 4 if the wind is not blowing in.
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors, college basketball and college football. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.