Game: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
Time: 8:05 p.m. ET
Starting Pitchers: Antonio Senzatela vs. Kyle Hendricks
Odds: Rockies +110, Cubs -130
Here is something you don’t see too often. The Chicago Cubs are actually favored to win a baseball game. Since the Cubs essentially mortgaged their recent future at the trade deadline, Chicago has been absolutely abysmal. Since the deadline, Chicago is 3-17 overall and an eye-opening 0-10 at Wrigley Field. Still, the Cubs are a -130 favorite over Colorado tonight.
There is a good reason why the Cubs are favored. The Rockies don’t play all that well away from home. In fact, Colorado has the worst road record – 14-45 – in the majors. Case in point – the Rockies are coming off a homestand in which they went 5-1. They took three straight from San Diego during that homestand, yet the Rockies are still a favorite to a team that has won just three times since Aug. 1.
The Cubs were actually favored in each of their three games over the weekend against the lowly Kansas City Royals. That didn’t work out so well for the Cubs as they lost 6-2, 4-2, and 9-1 to the Royals. Betting against the Cubs over the weekend went well for those bettors.
Another reason why the Cubs are favored has to do with starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. While his ERA numbers are a bit disappointing, Hendricks is 14-5 overall. He won his last start over Cincinnati pitching six innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out three.
The problem with Hendricks is that his overall ERA is 4.04 with a FIP of 4.77 in 25 starts this season. At home, those numbers are even worse – 5.63 FIP with a WHIP of 1.48. Colorado has been hitting the ball well recently, so that could be a problem for Hendricks and the Cubs.
The Cubs offense has also been challenged with the losses of their best players (Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, to name a few). Chicago is 24th in MLB in runs per game averaging 4.10. Over their last three games, the Cubs are scoring just 1.67 per game. It’s hard to win games when you can’t score.
The Cubs might be able to get something going against Colorado’s Antonio Senzatela. The Rockies right-hander is just 2-9 on the season and his ERA is an unimpressive 4.58. However, since the beginning of June, Senzatela has been a decent pitcher for Colorado.
His FIP since the beginning of June is 2.88 and that covers his last 60.1 innings pitched. He hasn’t struck out many batters, but his walk rate of 3.4 percent is among the best in MLB. Senzatela limits baserunners which will be a problem for a Cubs lineup that is 22nd in OPS over the past two weeks.
The Cubs losing streak and lack of offense give the Rockies some value as an underdog, but Hendricks on the mound for Chicago and Colorado’s inability to win on the road shift the value to the Cubs.