To start off the morning, the Chicago Cubs announced their top prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong, will be joining the team tomorrow for game two of their series with the Rockies. Until he joins the team, however, Chicago still needs to play tonight as they look to build their lead in the second wild-card spot, and we’ll preview the game before going over which pitcher prop market I’ll be targeting.
The last time the Rockies won a series was August 18th-20th, which means they’ve lost six straight, including their series over the weekend to the Giants. With a chance to avoid getting swept last night on Sunday Night Baseball, the Rockies fell 6-3 after their starter, Peter Lambert, allowed six earned runs across his five innings of work. Colorado’s biggest offensive highlight for the game was a Hunter Goodman two-RBI triple.
Following their loss last night, Colorado boarded a plane back home, where they will play for the first time in six games. Opening their series with Chicago on the mound will be lefty Kyle Freeland, who is fresh off recording his 6th win of the year. Freeland allowed two earned runs across six innings, which was the first time since July 9th that the lefty had not allowed at least three earned runs in an outing.
Freeland will get the Cubs off a series loss to the Diamondbacks, in which they avoided getting swept yesterday with a 5-2 win. Of Chicago’s nine hits, five went for extra bases, including home runs from Christopher Morel, Cody Bellinger, and Dansby Swanson. Chicago only scored four total runs in the series' first three games, so they captured some momentum yesterday before leaving for their roadstand.
Chicago will also have a lefty toe the slab tonight, with rookie Jordan Wicks getting the start. The Kansas State product has started his career by picking up a win in all three of his outings. In his most recent start, Wicks worked a career-high 6.2 innings while allowing just two earned runs against the Giants, which gives him a 2.16 ERA in 16.7 innings.
Kyle Freeland’s outs recorded prop is currently set at 15.5, and I’ll be taking the over for my play, which is priced at (+115). The Rockies left-hander has exceeded this total in seven of his last ten starts, and he’ll take on a Cubs lineup that has been below the league average against lefties on the road as of late.
Dating back to August 11th, the Cubs offense ranks 22nd in wRC+, 21st in wOBA, and 19th in OPS against lefties on the road. It’s very easy to look at this and think those numbers will only be better in Coors Field, but pitching at home has not necessarily stopped Freeland from recording over 15 outs since the start of August, as he went over the total in two of his last three home starts.
Freeland gives up a lot of contact, but when it comes to just a pure pitch count perspective, the lefty's low strikeout and low walk output serve him well. Over his last ten outings, Freeland is averaging 15.5 pitches per inning, and on the season, he has a 65.1% first-pitch strike percentage, which is above the league average, so facing a Cubs team that is 18th in hard-hit percentage in this split, I think Freeland wills his way into the sixth inning.
Kyle Freeland Over 15.5 Outs Recorded (+115)