After blowing a four-run lead yesterday, the Boston Red Sox will look to get back on track against the Chicago Cubs, on the road, in the second game of the series. Will Boston rebound against a mediocre Cubs team?
Let’s see what the MLB odds tell us at the top sportsbooks!
Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago Cubs
Saturday, July 2, 2022, 7:15 PM EDT at Wrigley Field
The Boston Red Sox will look to get back on track in the second game of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs defeated the Red Sox 6-5 last night, after scoring six runs in two innings.
Boston had a 4-0 lead and ultimately lost, adding another blown lead to their record. Despite that, I think they can rebound tonight. Here are our picks and predictions for tonight's matchup.
The Pitching Match-Up
The Red Sox will send out Josh Winckowski for today’s game. Winckowski has a 3-1 record with a 3.60 ERA on the season. In the last 30 days, he’s put together an xFIP of 4.14 with just 4.4% of walks.
Winckowski is known for inducing ground balls as he’s induced 57.1% in the last 30 days. He’s limited power in that 30-day timeframe and has been reliable for the Red Sox in his starter role.
Meanwhile, Alec Mills will get the start for the Cubs. He’s pitched six games this season and has a 9.87 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched. Recently, Mills has been getting rocked, allowing a .457 wOBA and ISO of .333 to his last 43 lefties. He’s also allowing a .476 wOBA and ISO of ./472 to his last 39 righties.
It’s clear who the better-performing pitcher is right now.
Who Has the More Favorable Lineup?
The Boston Red Sox have a .144 ISO and wOBA of .339 in the last 30 days against righties. They haven't been very consistent at the plate, but there’s reason to believe that Boston can do damage today going up against Mills.
The key to the puzzle will be Rafael Devers. The third baseman has a .266 ISO and wOBA of .420 against righties. Recently, Devers was named an All-Star finalist in the American League and could have a chance to start in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.
As a team, Boston has hit 21.5% of line drives against righties and should be able to continue hitting a bunch against Mills. On the other hand, the Cubs have a .139 ISO and wOBA of .321 against righties in the last 30 days.
However, Chicago is hitting 47.1% of ground balls with their projected lineup, which fits the ball for Winckowski.
Winckowski has been superb for the Red Sox this season. He’s not going to overpower you and earn a ridiculous amount of strikeouts, but when balls are batted in play, it’s usually a ground ball.
Plus, he’s not walking many batters, which has helped him keep runners off the base paths. He’s limited power very well and currently is a quality start for Boston.
Key to Winning the Pitching Duel
The Cubs are hitting over 47% of ground balls against righties, so there’s reason to believe that Winckowski will earn a bunch of ground balls in this game. If he’s able to limit walks, as he has recently, he’ll be in line for another win today.
On other hand, it’s been a disastrous start to the season for Alec Mills. He has an ERA nearing 10 and an xFIP of 6.74 in the last 30 days. He has limited walks well but is just getting beat up from both sides of the plate in each appearance on the mound.
Boston hasn’t been the most consistent offense against righties but they’ve got plenty of bats in the lineup that can capitalize on Mills’ mistakes.
The Red Sox are currently -150 favorites against the Cubs, on the road. That’s a fair line for the Red Sox and one that I’ll be looking to pick up.
Mills hasn’t shown anything in regards to improving this season and the Red Sox have an offense capable of capitalizing on the pitcher's mistakes. Mills is allowing 48.5% of hard contact when balls are batted in play. Basically, every other batted ball against Mills is a hard-hit ball. The Red Sox have plenty of hard hitters in their lineup.
With my MLB Pick of the Day, I’ll ride with Boston on the moneyline at -150.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.