The Cubs took the first of three before the All-Star break against the Yankees in the Bronx on Friday, can they make it two in a row against New York with the team's ace on the mound?
Chicago will hope to get a quality start from the up-and-down Drew Smyly against Gerrit Cole, who is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but is he a little overrated? His number indicate he may be in line to take a step back.
Let's dive into it and find the best bet for Saturday's matchup:
Cubs vs. Yankees odds, run line and total
Cubs vs. Yankees prediction and pick
Smyly has had some uneven starts this season, but the upside is still there for the 34-year-old left hander. He has an xERA of 3.80 against a 4.10 actual ERA, but he has struggled with home runs more than anything. He has a home run rate over one this season and as a predominately fly ball pitcher (he generates groundball contact only a third of the time), he can be ripe to some blowup outings.
However, the Yankees power is far lower without Aaron Judge in the lineup, 18th in home runs over the last 30 days and 27th in OPS, so I feel his biggest flaw can be masked.
Meanwhile, Cole continues to be overvalued in the betting market. Sure, the Yankees are 3-3 in his last six starts dating back to the beginning of June, but bettors are paying a high tax to back him with his underlying metrics. While Cole has a 2.79 ERA, his strikeout numbers are dwindling below double digits per nine innings and has an xERA of 3.99.
I'll take a shot against Cole being hit by some regression and the Cubs pulling an upset win on Saturday.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.