Baltimore @ Chicago
Chicago -1 +171 over Baltimore

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Chicago -1½ +171 over Baltimore

8:00 PM EST. 7:20 PM EST. The best number at the time of this posting is at Pinnacle with the Cubs -1½ +170. Chicago is also available at -1½ +150 at Bet 365 and -1½ +155 at 888Sport.

The Orioles are hot. When was the last time you heard that? They have won eight in a row while the Cubbies are on a four game losing streak. It’s all nice and pretty on paper but Baltimore just abused the pathetic Angels (and we really mean pathetic) while the Cubbies went into Los Angeles and dropped all four games to the juggernaut Dodgers. However, the Cubbies were in a position to win all four games in L.A, as all games were decided by two runs or less and Chicago had late leads in two of the four games. If there is such a thing as a moral victory in a four-game sweep, this was it. Prior to nearly sweeping the Dodgers in L.A., the Cubs won eight of 12 against St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boston and Milwaukee. The Cubs are playing some damn good baseball these days and will face a favorite fade target of ours here in Jordan Lyles (RHP - BAL).

We faded Lyles' last game out against the wretched Angels. L.A. absolutely torched this journeyman stiff but every hard hit ball was hit at someone. Somehow, Jordan Lyles has been able to remain in the rotation and get people out. His swing & miss rate the last three games is 4.6%. He is constantly falling behind in the count. Lyles is a big fat nothing. He's an equal opportunity hard-contact machine with long-standing HR issues. His charmed life is about to come crashing down.

Adrian Sampson (RHP - CHC) is a 30-year-old, well-traveled starter that has paid his dues and then some. He’s only thrown 22 innings this year. Normally, we wouldn’t elaborate so much on a small sample size but Sampson’s skills have taken a hard turn in the right direction. His K-rate has surged to never before demonstrated levels and an abundance of swinging strikes supports the increase. His already good control has improved to the point of being near flawless (3 walks issued in 22 frames). The main driver of this change in fortune appears to be his slider. According to Brooks Baseball, he has begun to use his slider more, and he’s been getting the extra swinging strikes with it. It’s too soon to tell whether this is merely a hot streak or the debut of a new weapon, but Sampson has put himself on our radar in the meantime, and is worth stashing in deep leagues.

Our Pick

Chicago -1 +171 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.42)

Colorado +206 over St. Louis
Oakland +168 over Texas
Toronto +131 over N.Y. Yankees