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MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros Betting Preview

After taking the first two games of the series, the Houston Astros (23-19) will look for the sweep as they take on the Chicago Cubs (19-23) on Wednesday. The Astros will host this one at Minute Maid Park, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.

The Astros are the favorite in this one playing at home. They are -162 to win, while the Cubs’ moneyline sits at +136. The runline features Chicago +1.5 (-154), and the over/under for total runs is 8.5.

Cubs Look To Salvage Finale

After starting the season off strong, the Cubs are in a massive funk right now, having lost 14 of their last 20 games. Trying to at least salvage the finale of this three-game series, they will look to pick up the win Wednesday night.

Taking the ball for manager David Ross will be left Drew Smyly. In eight games, the 33-year-old has gone 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and he has struck out 38 in 44.1 innings. In his last start, Smyly picked up the win over the Minnesota Twins after allowing just two earned runs over six innings.

As a team, the Cubs rank 11th in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 4.15 runs per game. On the offensive side, the Cubs rank 10th in scoring, averaging 4.80 runs per game.

Leading the offense is infielder Patrick Wisdom. In 125 at bats, he is hitting .240/.340/.584 with a team-leading 12 home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Astros Look To Stay Hot

After a mediocre start to the season, the defending World Series champions appear to finally be hitting their groove. They have won six of their last seven games and have secured four straight series wins. Trying to stay hot, they will look to finish the sweep over the Cubs.

Rookie J.P. France will be making his Minute Maid Park debut on Wednesday. With injuries to both Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia, France has pitched well since being called up. In two games, he is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, and he has eight strikeouts in 11.2 innings of work.

Offensively, the Astros have scuffled a bit this season. They currently rank 19th in scoring, averaging 4.32 runs per game. Granted, their lineup still has yet to be at full strength, as both Jose Altuve nor Michael Brantley haven’t played a game to this point.

One player who has dominated for the Astros is slugging outfielder Yordan Alvarez. In 131 at bats, he is hitting .298/.400/.573 with a team-leading nine home runs and 39 runs batted in. His 39 runs batted in trail only Adolis Garcia of the Rangers for most in the big leagues.

Take The Cubs On The Runline

Looking at the trends, the Cubs are 1-4 in their last five games overall and 1-4 in their last five against the Astros. In their last six interleague games, they are just 2-4.

For Houston, they are 6-1 in their last seven games and 4-2 in their last six home games. They are 12-5 in their last 17 games against National League opponents.

While Houston has certainly been playing better baseball as of late, it will be really interesting to see how rookie J.P. France handles the emotions of playing in front of his home fans for the first time in his career.

Expecting a little nerves to come through, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Cubs keep it close. For that reason, take Chicago on the +1.5 runline (-154).

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