It was a tough weekend for the Cubs in their Windy City showdown with the White Sox, but they were able to salvage the final game of the series thanks to a strong outing from Yu Darvish and the bat of Kyle Schwarber. Now, the Cubs head to Detroit to open up a three-game set with a Tigers squad that surprisingly took two out of three over the weekend in Cleveland.
Let’s get into what to expect in the opener with our Cubs vs. Tigers betting preview that includes picks and predictions.
Before we do, something to know for Illinois online sports betting.
The Cubs turn to Alec Mills, who got off to a great start in his first two outings but has since come back to earth his last two times out. Mills will be opposed by highly-touted Detroit pitching prospect Casey Mize, making just his second big league start.
The Cubs will be looking to improve to 18-10 on the season and continue to widen their lead in the NL Central as the midway point of the regular season fast approaches. The Tigers, meanwhile, are looking to jump back into the AL playoff picture.
Cubs vs. Brewers Odds
Let’s take a look at the current Cubs vs. Tigers odds, courtesy of BetRivers.
Monday, August 24, 6:10 PM CDT (Alec Mills vs. Casey Mize)
• BetRivers Sportsbook: Cubs (-136)/Tigers (+116); Over/Under 9.5
Note: Cubs vs. Tigers odds are subject to change prior to game time. These odds are as of 1:15 pm CDT.
Analysis: It’s no surprise that the Cubs come into the game favored given their vastly superior record thus far. However, Chicago starter Alec Mills has struggled recently, and while Detroit’s Casey Mize did allow three earned runs in four-plus innings of work to the White Sox in his debut last week, he also showed flashes of dominance.
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Cubs vs. Tigers Betting Prediction and Pick
The Pitching Matchup
As always, the pitching matchup is a critical point to consider when evaluating how to bet on a baseball game. In determining both the Cubs vs. Tigers odds and picks, the probable pitchers are the top consideration.
Alec Mills (2-2, 4.76 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Casey Mize (0-0, 6.23 ERA) on Monday night. The 28-year-old Mills is looking to build on a strong 2019 campaign with the Cubs in which he pitched to a 2.75 ERA over 36 innings work split as a starter and reliever.
He did just that in his first two starts, allowing only two earned runs in 13 innings of work during a pair of wins. However, he’s been less successful over his last two starts, yielding 10 earned runs in only 9 2/3 IP. He was especially roughed up during his last outing against the Cardinals in which he was tagged for seven hits and six earned runs in just 3 2/3 IP.
Notably, Mills isn’t missing bats right now. He’s striking out just six batters per nine innings through four starts. However, he has a favorable matchup tonight against a Detroit offense that struggles to do damage against right-handed pitching.
Despite his recent struggles, in 22 2/3 IP this season, Mills has posted a respectable 1.103 WHIP while allowing opposing batters to hit just .207 with a .659 OPS.
If you haven’t seen Casey Mize or don’t know what the hype is all about, here’s a quick look:
Casey Mize impressed and fanned 7⃣ in his MLB debut. pic.twitter.com/8oZPHD2qn5
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 20, 2020
As the Cubs know, the White Sox can swing it a little bit.
Mize, who was the top pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, struck out seven without walking a single hitter in his major league debut. He’ll look to build on that performance in his first home start tonight.
Last season, Mize struck out 106 batters in 109 1/3 IP on his way to a 2.55 ERA over 21 starts. He entered the season as the Tigers’ No. 2 rated prospect (and No. 8 prospect in baseball) behind Spencer Torkelson, Detroit’s top selection of the 2020 MLB Draft.
His best pitch is his splitter, which you can see above. It helps his fastball, which typically sits in the low-to-mid 90s with good location, generate swings and misses. He compliments those offerings with an above average slider. In short, Mize is the truth, but how that plays tonight in his second career start remains to be seen.
Betting Notes to Know
Here are some notes to consider as you evaluate the Cubs vs. Tigers odds and make your picks.
⇒ The Cubs have struggled on the road last season but are off a solid 5-2 start away from Wrigley Field this year. They’re 3-1 on the road as a favorite.
⇒ With a 15-5 record as a favorite, the Cubs are the third most profitable team (+$531) in Major League Baseball in the role this season.
⇒ More specifically, the Cubs have excelled as an inexpensive favorite. They are 6-1 when favored between -105 and -140 this season. In other words, this has been an extremely profitable spot. Perhaps even more startling is that from a game-wide perspective, favorites priced between -105 and -140 are 108-72 this season (+$1,800). Road teams in this range have been less successful, but have still combined to go 48-35 (+$480).
⇒ The Cubs are 10-4 against RHP as a favorite this season.
⇒ The Tigers are a miserable 2-8 this season as a home underdog. At -$524 dollars, no team in baseball has been less profitable this season. They are 1-7 as a home underdog against RHP.
Cubs vs. Tigers Pick
I don’t love the way Mills have thrown the ball over his last two starts, and Mize demonstrated in debut that he has the tools to excel right away. Given how poorly the Tigers have played as a home underdog, my lean is on the Cubs, but they won’t be my pick.
Cubs vs. Brewers Prediction: I think Mills rebounds against a weak Tigers lineup, but I also believe Mize shows up. I’m rolling with UNDER 9.5 runs.