Corey Kluber (8-13, 3.52 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, starts for the Cleveland Indians (58-65) as they square off against Jon Lester (8-9, 3.58 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (70-51) in the first of a one-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the last game 4-3 and Chicago can finish out the series sweep with a win in this game. Action begins at 2:05 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 24 and can be seen on WPWR and STOh.
Lester pitched 2.2 innings in his last outing, surrendering seven runs, striking out four and walking three in a 15-8 defeat to the Tigers. Welington Castillo (.241, 35 Rs, 16 HRs, 42 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Kluber went 6.0 innings, surrendering six runs, striking out nine and walking one in a 6-4 defeat to the Red Sox in his most recent start. Michael Brantley (.316, 52 Rs, 9 HRs, 68 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run.
Chicago is a -132 favorite against Cleveland and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is currently unavailable. The Cubs have recorded an overall money line of +866 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 50-30. Chicago is an impressive 6-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Cubs have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 6.2 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.1 runs per game. Chicago's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 5.1 runs per game, well above its season average of 3.9. The Cubs are the fifth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.20 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cubs, who lead the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.7.
In games where it is the underdog, Cleveland has a 18-25 record and an overall money line of -2,038. Cleveland is 4-4 as the underdog and 10-7 SU against interleague opponents. Cleveland's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.42 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Indians are fourth in the AL with an average of 8.1 hits allowed per game. The Indians have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an AL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Indians lead the season series, 2-1. The Cubs have a 55-40 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kluber takes the mound. Lester (LHP) will be on the hill against the Indians, who have a inferior 14-26 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
In their last game, the Indians won by a margin of one run. The Cubs are 27-17 in one-run games. The Indians have a 14-16 record in close games.
For the 12th time this season, the Indians registered at least two errors in a game.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Cubs are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Indians have a 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 8-49. The Cubs have a 15-38 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 23rd in home runs, Cleveland has hit 101 this season. Chicago ranks 12th with 123 home runs.
Ranking 14th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.17 per game. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 8.60.
Ranking 17th, Chicago is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.712). Cleveland ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .716.
When the Indians allow at least one home run, they are 35-53. When the Cubs allow one or more homers, they have a 33-34 record.