Wild Card Pick: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
Time:8:05 PM ET
Where:Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Listed Pitchers:Kyle Freeland (Col) vs. Jon Lester (Chic)
Moneyline:Rockies +125/Cubs -135 (Opened at -127) (Best Line: YouWager)
The Cubs and Rockies both lost one-game playoffs Monday, missing out on their division crowns, and now meet in the National League wild-card game Tuesday at the Friendly Confines. How are we playing this contest with our daily free MLB picks?
MLB Betting Line
Tuesday’s MLB playoff betting odds opened Chicago at around -125 for this game, with an over/under of 7.5 runs. Both those figures were holding steady in the early betting action.
The Cubs could also be found getting upwards of +160 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Tuesday Playoff Set-Up
Colorado tied with the Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West this season with records of 91-71. But the Rockies then lost a one-game playoff in LA Monday 5-2, before hopping on a plane for the Midwest to play this game.
Chicago, meanwhile, tied with Milwaukee for the top spot in the NL Central with records of 95-67. But the Cubs lost a one-game playoff to the Brewers Monday 3-1. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have to travel for this game.
Even with Monday’s loss, Colorado is 9-2 over its last 11 games.
With Monday’s defeat, Chicago is 4-4 over its last eight games.
These two teams split six meetings this season.
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on April 30, a 3-2 Chicago victory.
Lefty Lester (18-6, 3.32), by our strict standards, is 13/32 on quality starts this season, and two for his last three. Last Thursday he held Pittsburgh scoreless on three hits through six innings, and over his previous three starts, he’s allowed just two earned runs and 13 hits through 18 innings. On the season the Cubs are a sparkling 24-8 with Lester, 7-1 over his last eight outings.
In his one start, this year against the Rockies Lester allowed two runs – none earned – and five hits through 5 2/3 innings of that 3-2 Chicago win back in April.
Fellow southpaw Freeland (17-7, 2.85) is 21/33 on quality starts this year, working on a streak of five in a row. Last Friday he allowed two runs but 11 hits through six innings against Washington, and over his previous five starts, he’s allowed eight runs through 32 innings (2.25 ERA). On the season Colorado is 23-10 with Freeland, 10-1 over his previous 11 outings.
In his one start this season against the Cubs Freeland allowed three runs and six hits through seven innings, but as mentioned above the Rockies lost that game 3-2.
The first glance might give the handicapping edge in this pitching match-up to Lester, but Freeland’s numbers put a dent in that line of thinking. We’ll provide Lester a slight advantage based on playoff experience, but that’s as far as we’ll go.
Tuesday’s Batting Splits
Colorado owns a .272/.336/.462 team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against left-handed pitching this season.
Chicago owns a .260/.333/.398 split against lefties this year. But this lineup has also been held to three runs or less five of its last eight games.
The Rockies offensive numbers may be slightly inflated by the home ballpark they play in, but we’re still giving them the handicapping edge with the sticks for this game.
The Colorado bullpen owns a 4.62 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
The Cubs pen owns a 3.35 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
Chicago gets the check-mark in the comparison of these bullpens.
- Unders are 47-34 in games played at Wrigley Field this year, which are averaging 9.0 total runs per.
- Overs are 5-2-1 in Colorado’s last eight games.
- Overs are 18-13 in Lester’s starts this year.
- Unders are 24-9 in Freeland’s starts this year.
- Totals are split 3-3 in Rockies-Cubs games this season.
Free MLB Picks
We’re giving Chicago a total of a half-star on our central baseball handicapping factors. But the Cubs also didn’t have to travel for this game, and home-field might mean something here, too. We actually looked for excuses to take Colorado here, but we have to go with Chicago at the short price for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.