MLB Betting: Cubs at Astros Odds
By Steven Wisner
If you’re not wagering with BookMaker Sportsbook then you’re just another square bettor. Shop for MLB lines where the pros do so register for your own betting account at BookMaker now! The ballgame pitting the Chicago Cubs versus the Houston Astros will commence Saturday, September 10, 2016, at 1:05 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. The matchup will be televised regionally on FOX.
The Cubs and Astros were both at the bottom of their divisions a couple years ago, deep in a rebuilding process. The Cubs are the team of destiny in baseball, but Houston is no slouch.
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The Astros were just a game over .500 with their postseason hopes fading in the middle of August, but Houston has been on a tear ever since, going 12-4 in their last 16 games.
Houston is also—like most teams—a much better team at home. They’re 10-games over .500 at Minute Maid Park though the Cubs are 10-games over away from Wrigley.
The Cubs were neck and neck with San Francisco as the best team in baseball in the first half, but have run away with the title since the break, going 36-13. They’re 26-7 since the start of August and have won 11 of their last 14 games. There is a silver lining for those looking to fade the Cubs. Chicago has dropped two of three series in its last road trip, though Chicago still ended up 5-4 overall on the trip.
With Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers out, Saturday’s probable starter becomes an even more important cog in the rotation.
Mike Fiers is expected to get the nod on Saturday and has been a bit hit or miss this season, but he’s strung four solid outings together following a two-run, five-inning game against the Indians his last time out.
All in all, Fiers is a solid mid-to-back of the rotation arm. He gives his team a chance to win, but rarely goes more than five or six innings. He’s 10-6 overall with a 4.29 ERA.
The 31-year old right-hander, however, has been a bit better in the second half and has been much better at home than on the road. At Minute Maid Park, the righty is 6-3 with a 3.33 Era and 1.198 WHIP as a result of fewer walks, hits and homers despite more home innings than road innings.
On the other side, the Cubs will turn to ace Jake Arrieta who hasn’t had any issues on the road. Away from Wrigley, the 30-year old right-hander is 10-2 with a 2.99 ERA and 0.962 WHIP.
Overall, Arrieta is 16-6 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.046 WHIP in 174 innings of work. He’s seen his ERA tick up a bit in the second half due to an increase in walks and homers, but his opponent batting average is way down at .159 since the break. That shows the reigning Cy Young Award winner is missing from time to time, but when he’s making his pitches, he’s still dominating the opposition.
We’ve seen a couple bad starts from Arrieta over the last month, but he’s pitched well some of the time, too. In general, the right-hander is dominant enough to bank on a solid outing on Saturday as long as he keeps the ball in the zone.
Fiers has done well against the Cubs current crop of players in his career. The right-hander has held Javier Baez to one hit in six at bats, striking him out four times. He’s struck out Kris Bryant in his only three times facing him and has held Jason Heyward and Jorge Solar hitless in a combined 13 at bats.
While few players have a great track record given the combined .218 average against him in 55 at bats, there is one player that stands out: Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo has faced Fiers 10 times, recording six hits—including a double and two home runs—while walking once. That gives him a .667/.700/1.444 slash line.
On the other side, only three Astros have ever faced Arrieta for a combined 10 at bats. The trio has two hits and no walks in their time against Arreita.
The lack of any history typically benefits the pitcher if he can make his pitches. It’s hard to judge movement from video and scouting reports. While the Astros are sure to do their homework, but they won’t get a real taste of Arrieta’s offerings until they step into the box.
It’s only been a few games since the start of September, but Chicago’s bats have slowed a bit.
The team’s averaging fewer than four runs a game in the first five contests in September. They’ve scored three or fewer in three of their last four games.
To really get concerned about the Cubs’ offense, however, is a bit of over-analysis; particularly when the pitching has picked up the slack and the team continues to win.
It is an important note, however, for betters betting on the total. Fiers has thrown the ball well in his last few outings and the Houston bullpen is one of the best in the game. With Arrieta pitching on the other side, this could be a lower scoring game and one that the best bet is against the total.
MLB Odds: Cubs 3, Astros 2