Saturday night’s rematch has Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (3-4, 4.57 ERA) slated to square off against Cubs righty Jeff Samardzija (5-4, 3.96 ERA). What are the MLB odds makers offering us bettors in this showdown?
Joe Freda’s 2012 MLB Record: 25-21-1 (+3.47)
Just as SBR had predicted, the Chicago Cubs notched a 3-0 victory to open their weekend set
with the Boston Red Sox, cashing as 119 home dogs. Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger drove in two
runs, while starting hurler Ryan Dempster helped his own cause with a triple as
part of a 2-for-2 day.
For tonight's rematch, MLB odds boards opened Lester as a
155 road favorite, while initially leaving the ‘total’ off the board.
Lester left without win
Lester picked up a third straight no-decision in Sunday’s 4-3
defeat for Boston as a 163 home favorite against the Washington Nationals. The two-time All-Star allowed three runs in
seven innings, while logging nine strikeouts.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz cracked a homer and double, finishing
with a 3-for-4 day. Boston’s Scott
Podsednik and Dustin Pedroia united to hit 3-for-9 from the lineup’s top two
slots, driving in one run each.
The contest’s combined seven runs dipped below the ‘total’ of
nine, ending a 4-0 streak for the OVER in Lester’s prior four starts. Red Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves logged his
staff’s loss, giving up a late RBI-double to Washington’s Roger Bernadina.
Samardzija shelled in
Samardzija was lit up early in last Saturday’s 11-3 setback for
Chicago as a 132 road dog against the Minnesota Twins. The 27-year-old gave up eight runs on nine
hits, lasting a short 3 2/3 innings.
Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano poked his 12th homer of the
year, finishing 2-for-4 as the lineup’s designated hitter. Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson went 2-for-5
from the leadoff spot, while mates Starlin Castro and David DeJesus left seven
men on base en route to hitting 0-for-6.
The lopsided affair’s combined 14 runs soared above the ‘total’ of
eight, ending a 4-0 UNDER run from Samardzija’s prior four outings. Chicago was edged out in hits, 16-11, while
relievers Jairo Asencio and Manny Corpas held the Twins scoreless over the
final 2 2/3 frames.
Back the Cubs as home
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. (ET). Wrigley Field’s weather forecast calls for an
85 degree evening, with 13 mph winds blowing to center field and a 20 percent
chance of thunderstorms.
I am adding the Cubs and Samardzija to the night’s MLB betting
card, looking for Dale Sveum’s squad to pick up another victory here. Friday’s triumph improved the Cubs to a 5-2
mark in their last seven home dates, while Boston dropped to 1-6 in its last
seven contests against right-handed starters.
Lester gave up a sizable five runs on 12 hits in last May’s battle
against the Cubs, leaving after six frames. The southpaw faces some familiar foes here, with Chicago’s Alfonso
Soriano hitting 3-for-6 lifetime. Cubs
first baseman Jeff Baker should also see some at-bat’s, with a 4-for-4 career
mark against Lester.
Samardzija has had a stingy run of five home starts, holding
visitors to a meager 0.93 WHIP and 1.96 ERA. The hurler should have some challenges with the Red Sox lineup and some
swirling winds, but Chicago’s 3-0 mark in his trio of starts as a home dog
makes him worth the price here.
Boston is 1-8 in Lester’s last nine outings that followed a “Quality Start” in
his previous appearance, while going 3-8 in its last 11 games as a favorite of
minus 151 to 200. Look for the Red Sox
to come up short again here in another overvalued spot, while Cubs backers cash
tickets at plus odds in a back-and-forth battle.
My Pick: Back the Cubs