The Chicago Cubs host the Cleveland Indians this afternoon in matinee Major League Baseball action. The game is scheduled for a 2:05 p.m. start time and it will be televised live in both markets. Currently the odds for the game have the Cubs favored to pick up the win at home.
This contest today is a makeup one from earlier this season and two great pitchers will take the mound. Cleveland is clearly out of the running for the post season, Chicago looks poised to make a run this year.
The Cubs are 20 games over the .500 mark but find themselves 6.5 games outside of first place because the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals own the best record in the entire league and the two teams in the National League that are in second in third place also reside in the National League Central. Chicago sits at 38-26 for the year and after dropping three straight games swept Atlanta this past weekend.
Cleveland is 58-65 but actually is three games over the .500 mark on the road this year. They will give the ball to Corey Kluber, last year's Cy Young award winner. He's had some rough luck this year with 13 losses, but Kluber still has an ERA that is very solid at 3.52 and he's third in the American League in strikeouts at 202. Three of his last four starts have come on the road, he's pitched the Indians to a 2-2 record in those games. Current Cubs are 0-for-7 against him, Dexter Fowler and Miguel Montero are the only ones with at bats.
Jon Lester takes the mound for the Cubs. He was whacked by the Tigers in his last start, lasting just 2 2/3 innings and surrendering seven earned runs, three home runs and three walks. It was the worst start for Lester all season, who had surrendered just eight earned runs in his previous five starts combined.
Lester is 6-7 in home games spanning 16 starts. His 3.75 ERA isn't terrible for Wrigley Field and opponents are hitting .260 against him there. Current Indians are hitting .244 against him in 82 plate appearances, Chris Johnson owns a home run while Michael Brantley has the most hits with five.
The Indians have a talented club, have one of the best pitchers in the American League and are pretty solid on the road, but haven't seemed to be able to put it all together this year. Look for a bounce back from Lester today.
Free Pick: Cubs
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