Last night’s loss gave the Cubs a losing record so far on their west coast trip with five games remaining. With two games left in this series, the Cubs will be looking to set themselves up for a series victory with a win tonight. We’ll preview game two of the series before going over my best prop play.
Falling behind 4-0 in the second inning is not an ideal way to begin a series, but the Angels responded to that deficit impressively by putting up a big inning themselves as they scored five runs in the fifth. With two RBI singles by Mike Trout and Matt Thaiss, the Angels took the lead, and between a Taylor Ward home run in the seventh and the LA bullpen throwing four scoreless innings, the Angels took game one with a final score of 7-4.
Jaime Barria will take the mound for Los Angeles tonight as they look to avoid being down big early in the game. The right-hander has bounced back and forth from the bullpen to starting, but he's performed well regardless of his role for a given week. In his two starts, Barria has thrown ten innings with 12 strikeouts and one earned run allowed. Across his 34 total innings, the righty has a 1.59 ERA with 34 punchouts and 11 walks.
The last time Barria was on the mound, he coincidentally faced the other Chicago-based team. Tonight he’ll face a Cubs lineup that outhit the Angels despite the loss but still struck out 11 times and left 18 runners on base. Young first baseman Matt Mervis and Mike Tauchman each drove in two runs accounting for all of the team’s scoring.
It will be Jameson Taillon getting the start for the Cubs tonight, with the team looking to even the series. In his best start since April 15th, the Cubs right-hander secured his first win in his most recent outing by throwing 5 ⅔ innings with three strikeouts and one earned run allowed. Despite the win, Taillon’s ERA is still at 7.05 in 37 innings of work.
Jaime Barria’s strikeout prop is set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the over, priced at (-130) for my play in this one. In the two starts he’s made up to this point, he’s recorded six strikeouts in each and has shown in his relief appearances that he can rack up punchouts quickly. Not only has he gone over this number twice, but tonight he is facing his most ideal matchup for this market.
Over the past month, no team has had a higher strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching on the road than the Chicago Cubs. With their strikeout percentage up to 30.6% and their batting average down to .194 in this spot, Barria and his 25% strikeout percentage could be in for a big night.
The Angels right-hander is in the 61st percentile in strikeout percentage, 69th percentile in whiff percentage, and currently has a career-high CSW of 29.1%. Barria’s slider that he throws 50.9% of the time, has a 31.7% whiff percentage, and his changeup has a 42.1% whiff percentage. With his K/9 sitting at 9.00 and his home ERA at .60, I think there is a good chance the righty throws five innings and puts up one punchout per inning.
Jaime Barria Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-130)