Chicago (Hammel) at Atlanta (Norris) O/U 8
Recommendation: Chicago -1.5 -140
It’s hard to make money betting Chicago as a straight bet right now; a team that is 6-3 in their last nine games, yet down more than a unit during that span because of the high prices bettors must lay to support them. But the Cubs remain the single most profitable team to support on the run-line in all of baseball – when they win, they tend to win by margin! My clients and I cashed a winning bet supporting the Cubs on the Run Line in their last contest, an 8-1 blowout at Philadelphia on Wednesday. And there’s ample reason to expect another win by margin against the hapless Braves this evening.
The absolute best place to bet on the Cubs is on the road, where the price to support them is far more reasonable. The Cubs had the single best road record in baseball under Joe Maddon last year and they have the single best road record in MLB again this year; 19-9 through their first 28 road tilts. And when the best road team in baseball is facing off against the single worst team in MLB; a team that has gone a truly woeful 6-23 at home this year, you’re not going to find this bettor rambling on about how much value there is on the underdog. The ‘value’ here is on the favorite minus a run and a half!
The Cubs have Jason Hammel on the hill here. He’s been pitching at an ace level all year, allowing just 15 earned runs in 11 previous starts. The Cubs are 9-2 in those outings, and eight of the nine wins have come by multi-run margins. Hammel has been eating up innings without high pitch counts and the bullpen behind him is rested and ready following yesterday’s off day.
Bud Norris is a fringe fifth starter on the very worst team in baseball. After a string of ineffective starts in April, Norris was demoted to the bullpen. But due to a lack of options for the hapless Braves, here he is making spot starts again. Atlanta is 1-5 in his six previous outings, with all five losses coming by multi-run margins and the lone win coming in a game where the Braves anemic offense actually scratched out six runs. This lineup has reached six runs or more a grand total of four times in their last 46 ballgames. I’m quite willing to bet that the Braves won’t be trading runs with the Cubs this evening. Modest run-line chalk worth laying!