Cubs vs. Tigers prediction and odds for Monday, August 21 (Ride Chicago's Bats)

The Cubs took two of three from the last place team in the AL Central this weekend and now have a three-game set with the third place team in baseball's weakest division.

Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24)
Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24) / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It may have only been a one-run win, but the Chicago Cubs took the rubber match from the Royals this weekend to win the series and stay three games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Cubs will now play three games on the road against the Detroit Tigers to start the week. Chicago is 64-59 while Detroit enters the series at 57-67. 

Javier Assad will take the ball for the Cubs pitching in his 23rd game, but this will be just his fifth start. Assad is 2-2 with a 3.11 ERA and will be opposed by Alex Faedo. Faedo is 2-4 in nine starts for Detroit with a 5.16 ERA. 

Even on the road, the Cubs are favored against the Tigers in their second straight interleague series. 

Cubs vs. Tigers odds, run line and total

Cubs vs. Tigers prediction and pick

Javier Assad’s transition to a starting role has been an interesting one for the Cubs, but their second half has been all about the offense. Since the All-Star break, only the Braves have been better at the plate than the Cubs.

Chicago has an OPS of .831 since the break and has scored 207 runs. 35 of those have been driven in by Cody Bellinger, but Dansby Swanson has also driven in 24 and has eight homers in the second half to spark this heater. It’s hard to find a weakness in this lineup and it’s hard to fathom that the Detroit Tigers could keep pace. 

Detroit is 21st in runs scored in the second half with 144 and an OPS of .705. Since the break, Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Kerry Carpenter have emerged as the best hitters on the roster, but those three account for 58% of their second half home runs and 46% of their second half RBI. That’s a lot to put on three young hitters. 

Assad’s numbers aren’t overly impressive and I think he’ll regress quite a bit if he’s asked to be a full-time starter the rest of the way, but based on lineups alone I have to take the Cubs, and I’m confident enough to take them on the run line. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change