MLB Baseball Betting: Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

MLB Baseball Betting:  Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are still the best team in baseball thought they have cooled off somewhat since their torrid start. They’re starting to get some pressure from the Pittsburgh Pirates who are now just 4.5 games back. Chicago has lost of 6 of 10 but have bounced back to win two straight. They’ll be a huge favorite here as lefthander John Lester always attracts a big price. Kyle Hendricks will start on Saturday against Philly’s Jerad Eickhoff with John Lackey and Vincent Velasquez going at it on Sunday. Velasquez has been a very impressive pitcher in the early going and might be worth a look at what will no doubt be a big price.

The Cubs pitching staff has been monstrous this year. Lester has started nine games with the Cubs winning six while posting an ERA of 2.60. Like his team, he’s kind of slumped in his recent outings losing two of his last three starts and posting a 5.28 ERA in those games. Adam Morgan has been on the hill five times with the Phillies winning two and losing three. He’s been hit fairly hard with an ERA of 5.61. His recent form is pretty much in line with his year to date numbers. Morgan has a 1-2 record in his last three with a 5.40 ERA.

The Cubs are the better team but to paraphrase the great Bob Barker the price *isn’t* right. Lester is a -300 favorite at most books and you can find prices as high as -345. So let’s get out the trusty calculator and do a little math. At -300 the implied probability is an even 75%. That means the Cubs would have to win 75% of the time in theory just to break even. Another way of putting it–if these teams played 100 times Chicago would have to win 75 just to break even. Is that possible? Maybe, but take a look at the Phillies’ implied probability at +275. The implied probability at this price is 26.67%. So the Phillies would just have to win 27 of the hypothetical 100 set and that would get them a small profit. If they win 3 of every 10 games you’re making money at a nice clip. It’s important to remember that the real task in sports betting isn’t to ‘pick winners’–it’s to ‘find value’. And the value in this one is on the Philadelphia Phillies.