Chicago Looks To Tie Season-High Win Streak
The Chicago Cubs go for a fourth straight win on Saturday when they play host to the Boston Red Sox in the second of a three-game weekend series. Chicago took the opener on Friday to move into a tie for third place in the NL Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Boston has lost three of four and is in third place in the AL East, one game behind the second-place Toronto Blue Jays. There’s a lot of firepower on both sides for these clubs, so before you decide how you want to bet online, check out our in-depth preview of this game.
Red Sox Needing Better Pitching
The Boston Red Sox are in a bit of a slump, and they can pin some of it on their pitching staff. Over the last four games – three losses – the Red Sox have allowed opponents to score 6.0 runs per game, which doesn’t make it easy on the offense. Three of those games have been one-run affairs, including Friday’s game in which Boston pitchers issued 10 walks. The margin for error is obviously thin, so better pitching might bring some more wins.
Right-hander Josh Winckowski will make his fifth major league start on Saturday. Winckowski is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA, recording 13 strikeouts and six walks in 20 innings. The 24-year-old has won his last three starts, including a victory over the Cleveland Guardians on June 25, as he allowed two runs on six hits over 5⅓ innings while striking out four and walking one.
Outfielder Jarren Duran was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs from the leadoff position on Friday. Duran is batting .333 with five doubles, two triples, a home run, five RBIs, and 10 runs scored in 14 games this season.
Third baseman Rafael Devers was 1-for-5 at the plate in the opener but still ranks third in baseball with his .326 batting average. Devers has 26 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, 45 RBIs, and 56 runs scored, ranking fourth in baseball in the last category.
Young Cubs Starting To Gain Some Confidence
The Chicago Cubs have been in a rebuilding mode since the middle of last season, but they’re ready to start putting together some wins and contending this season. The team’s young players are starting to get comfortable, and they’ve shown recently that they might be ready to make a late run at a possible playoff berth.
“Winning,” Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner said after Friday’s win, “I don’t think it is something that one day you just turn the switch on and say, ‘Now it’s time to win.’ Winning takes practice and it takes a lot of people and it takes daily work. I’m still learning what that means from guys that have done it before and from my own experiences.”
Hoerner had an eight-game hitting streak ended on Friday when he failed to get a hit in his one plate appearance, but he’s batting .308. The 25-year-old has seven doubles, three triples, four home runs, 24 RBIs, and 22 runs scored.
Rookie outfielder Christopher Morel continued his hot hitting with a home run in his third consecutive game on Friday. The 23-year-old is batting .281 with 10 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 23 RBIs, and 31 runs scored in 41 games.
Chicago will have right-hander Alec Mills getting the start. Mills is 0-1 with a 9.87 ERA in one start and six appearances this season, striking out 10 and walking three in 17⅓ innings of work. Mills’ one start came in his last outing, lasting 2⅔ innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday and giving up five runs on six hits, including three home runs while striking out one and walking one.
Red Sox vs Cubs Head-To-Head
There is not a lot of history between these storied franchises, with this being only the eighth series played all-time, with seven coming since 2000. The all-time series between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs is tied 11-11 after the Cubs’ win on Friday, and it’s been as tight as the numbers show.
The Red Sox are 5-5 when playing on the road against the Cubs, though they won the last series they played in Wrigley Field in 2012. The MLB lines for the second game of the series are giving the visitors the edge to come out on top.
Red Sox vs Cubs Game Information
- Game: Red Sox (43-34) vs Cubs (31-46)
- Location: Wrigley Field
- Day/Time: Saturday, July 2, 7:15 p.m. ET
- Red Sox vs Cubs Live Stream: MLB.TV
Red Sox vs Cubs Betting Lines
|Boston Red Sox
J. Winckowski -R
|1½ +115||-140||9½ Evo||5½ Evo
A. Mills -R
|+1½ -135||9½ -120u||
Red Sox vs Cubs Prediction
The Chicago Cubs have been playing well of late, but they’re going to have to overcome a pitcher that has not been effective this season making the start on Sunday. Look for a lot of offense from the Boston Red Sox as they tie up the series with a victory.
When making your MLB picks, take Boston to win on the road.