Last night, Andy Ibanez homered twice for the Detroit Tigers and led them to an 8-6 win at home over the Chicago Cubs.
The series is now even at a game apiece with Chicago falling 3.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central at 65-60. Detroit is third in the AL Central at 58-68.
For the rubber match this afternoon in Detroit, the Cubs will send Jameson Taillon to the mound. Taillon is 7-8 in his 22 starts this season and has a 5.56 ERA. Detroit will counter with Tarik Skubal. The lefty is 3-2 in eight starts with a 3.76 ERA.
Let’s get into the odds for the series finale.
Cubs vs. Tigers odds, run line and total
Cubs vs. Tigers prediction and pick
He hasn’t had much work this year, but in his limited efforts, Tarik Skubal has been strong for Detroit. He has a 1.99 FIP and has 43 strikeouts to just seven walks in 38.1 innings.
His xERA is much higher than his FIP at 2.62, but that’s still a really great mark. Again, it’s a small sample, but his changeup is generating a 40% whiff rate to neutralize right-handed hitters and even his four-seam fastball has a 28.4% whiff rate.
Another reason to like Skubal in this matchup is well, the matchup. Chicago is 18th in OPS against left-handed pitching since July 1 and they have a wRC+ of 93.
For the season, Cody Bellinger has been their best hitter against lefties, but lefties are hitting .143 with one home run against Skubal this season.
Chicago’s righties like Nico Hoener or Patrick Wisdom, just aren’t the type of hitters that crush lefties, even Dansby Swanson has just a .788 OPS against left-handers. Those are good numbers from Swanson, but not the type of production that can carry a lineup, especially if Bellinger is held in check.
The Cubs won’t get the pitching to hang around in this one either. Taillon hasn’t had a good season and is allowing an xSLG of .482 which is in the bottom 10% of all pitchers.
That’s bad news against the Tigers who suddenly have some sluggers on their roster. Ibanez hit two jacks last night, but Spencer Torkelson is still their hottest hitter with a 1.516 OPS in the past week.
Tarik, Tork and the Tigers are favorites today, and rightfully so. Let’s back Detroit in the rubber match.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change