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The Cubs go for their third straight win tonight as Tyler Chatwood returns from the IL to make his first appearance since August 6. Standing in their way is what appears to be a very willing opponent in the 11-16 Detroit Tigers, who were steamrolled by the Cubs in the series opener last night. The Cubs’ 9-3 triumph improved their overall record to 18-10, but perhaps more importantly, Javy Baez awoke from his season-long slump with a bang (two bangs, actually).
His three-hit night, which included two homers, was an encouraging development for a lineup that has yet to realize its full potential nearly midway through the season. Meanwhile, Alec Mills rebounded from two lackluster starts by scattering seven hits and three earned runs over seven innings to pick up his third win of the season.
Cubs vs. Tigers Odds
Let’s take a look at the current Cubs vs. Tigers odds, courtesy of BetRivers.
Tuesday, August 25, 6:10 PM CDT (Tyler Chatwood vs. Spencer Turnbull)
• BetRivers Sportsbook: Cubs (-129)/Tigers (+110); Over/Under 9.5
Note: Cubs vs. Tigers odds are subject to change prior to game time. These odds are as of 10:00 am CDT.
Analysis: Much like last night, it’s not hard to figure why the Cubs are favored in this one. They possess the superior record and the matchup isn’t particularly favorable for a Detroit team that has consistently struggled against right-handed pitching this season. In terms of the pitching matchup’s influence on the number, it’s probably a push. Both Chatwood and Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull were outstanding early on but have seen their early momentum stall. More on that in a bit.
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Cubs vs. Tigers Betting Prediction and Pick
The Pitching Matchup
After hot starts out of the gate this season, both Tyler Chatwood and Spencer Turnbull have run into some bumps in the road.
Chatwood yielded just one earned run in 12 2/3 IP over his first two starts. In those outings, he struck out 19 batters while allowing just two walks on his way to an 0.71 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Simply put, he was outstanding.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 27, 2020
Chatwood, however, was bombed in this third start against the Kansas City Royals. He didn’t get through the third inning and yielded 11 hits and 8 earned runs. He was scratched from his Aug. 14 start and placed on the IL with a mild-back strain two days later. He’ll look to get back on track tonight.
Turnbull was excellent in his first three starts of the season. He allowed just four earned runs over 18 innings of work in those starts, but he has run into problems in his last two turns through the rotation. In just 6 2/3 innings of work, Turnbull has allowed a total of six earned runs. Command has been the primary culprit in both starts as he walked a total of eight hitters.
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 6-2 start away from Wrigley Field this year. They’re 4-1 on the road as a favorite.
⇒ The Tigers are just 3-16 in Turnbull’s starts at home. They are 2-14 in his starts as a home underdog.
⇒ With a 16-5 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. After last night’s win, they are 7-1 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 105-70 this season (+$1,800). Road teams in this range have been less successful, but have still combined to go 48-35 (+$480).
⇒When the range shrinks from -105 to -130, teams are 86-57 (60%). That’s a pretty strong baseball-wide trend.
⇒ The Cubs are 11-4 against RHP as a favorite this season.
⇒ The Tigers are a miserable 2-9 this season as a home underdog. At -$624 dollars, no team in baseball has been less profitable this season. They are just 1-8 as a home underdog against RHP.
⇒ The Cubs are 10-4 against RHP as a favorite this season.
⇒ The Tigers are a miserable 2-9 this season as a home underdog. At -$524 dollars, no team in baseball has been less profitable this season. They are 1-8 (-$643) as a home underdog against RHP.
Cubs vs. Tigers Pick
I went with the Cubs and the Under 9.5 last night. I suspect Turnbull will rectify some of his command issues, but I also expect Chatwood to look more like the guy he was in his first two starts. I’ll ride the Cubs and the league-wide small favorites trend. After getting beat on it yesterday, I’m also coming back to the under tonight.
Cubs vs. Tigers Prediction: Cubs -129 and under 9.5 runs.