The first of two big series for the Indians didn’t go as planned. Being swept in Minnesota dropped them to third in the American League Central, which means they could be ticketed for the seventh seed in the upcoming AL playoffs and a road trip in the first round.
Just like their opponent the next two nights, Cleveland has struggled to find consistency on offense. Case in point: Franmil Reyes, who is 4-for-34 (.118) in the past 10 games, dropping his average from .336 to .292. Reyes has run hot and cold through his career.
The Indians’ Tuesday starter, Carlos Carrasco (2-4, 3.12 ERA), is winless in his past six starts, a skid that began with a 7-2 loss Aug. 12 to the Cubs. However, he has allowed only two runs in his past 19 innings.
Alec Mills’ no-hitter Sunday in a 12-0 rout at Milwaukee has pretty much maneuvered the Cubs into a position where they would have to lose the division for someone else to win it. They lead St. Louis by 4 1/2 games in the National League Central with less than two weeks left.
Chicago’s offense enjoyed one of its best games Sunday, and Jason Heyward was in the middle of it. He went 2-for-3 with three runs and two walks, upping his average to .293. Heyward owns a career-best .413 on-base percentage in what might be the best season of his five with the Cubs.
Yu Darvish (7-2, 1.77 ERA) aims to burnish his Cy Young Award credentials after seeing his seven-game winning streak end Wednesday night, when he gave up three runs in six innings to the Cincinnati Reds.
Indians at Cubs Betting Pick for September 15, 2020
It’s said that momentum in baseball is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. The Cubs have to feel good about this one with Darvish on the bump against a hit-and-miss Cleveland attack. Look for Chicago to move another step closer to an NL Central title.
Indians at Cubs: Indians (+130), Cubs (-150)
Indians at Cubs Betting Pick: Cubs 5, Indians 3
Indians at Cubs Best Bet for September 15, 2020
Darvish has bagged at least eight strikeouts in five of his past six starts, and he is facing an offense that averages nearly nine strikeouts per game. Darvish’s assortment of up to seven pitches might be too much for the Indians’ bats to cope with, so expect about 10 whiffs in the scorebook.
Indians at Cubs Best Bet: Indians batters OVER 9.5 strikeouts for the game.