In a key series featuring two potential National League playoff teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks (60-45) head to Wrigley Field on Tuesday as road underdogs for the first of three games against the Chicago Cubs (56-48). The defending champion Cubs have gone 13-3 since the All-Star break.
Betting line: The Cubs opened as -177 favorites (wager $177 to win $100), according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
Why the Diamondbacks can pay on the MLB lines
Arizona has a better record than Chicago at this point but virtually no chance to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West title. However, the Diamondbacks lead the NL Wild Card race by a half-game over the Colorado Rockies, with one of those teams likely battling the Cubs and/or Milwaukee Brewers for a spot.
Arizona will send lefty Patrick Corbin (8-9, 4.36 ERA) to the hill here, and he has pitched well lately despite going 2-3 in his past seven starts. Corbin has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his last eight outings, dropping his ERA more than a full run since early June.
Why the Cubs can pay on the MLB lines
Chicago is finally living up to expectations in seizing a 2.5-game lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Cubs have also won eight of the past 10 meetings with the Diamondbacks, according to the OddsShark MLB Database, going 5-1 at Wrigley during that stretch.
The Cubs will count on southpaw Jon Lester (8-6, 3.88) to help continue their hot streak, and he has pitched outstanding in winning each of his last three outings. Over that period, Lester has given up five runs and 10 hits in 22 innings with just two walks and 20 strikeouts. Four of those five runs came on solo homers.
Smart betting pick
It is hard to back Chicago and Lester in this spot on the runline considering two of his last three wins have been decided by exactly one run. Instead, take a shot on the under. The under has cashed in five of the previous six matchups between the teams on the Vegas odds along with all of the past six wins for the Cubs with Lester on the mound.
MLB betting trends
Arizona is 4-9 in its last 13 games on the road.
The total has gone under in four of Arizona's last six games on the road.
The total has gone under in four of Chicago's last five games.
All MLB lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.