Two of the most storied franchises in baseball wrap up their Interleague MLB betting series on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this week, when the Chicago Cubs play host to the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field.
Where the heck has the offense gone for the Red Sox over the course of the last week and a half? Sure, the team put up 10 runs in a win in the final game of a three-game set against the Miami Marlins on the road, but aside from that, in the last eight games, the team hasn’t scored more than four runs and has been held to two or fewer four times. Needless to say, we sincerely doubt that is going to cut it with Franklin Morales on the bump on Sunday. The southpaw is a relief pitcher by trade, and he hasn’t really done all that much starting over the course of the last several seasons. This is going to be the first time that he has started a game since 2009 when he was with the Colorado Rockies. This year in relief, Morales has thrown 23.2 innings. He is 0-1 with a 3.04 ERA with eight walks against 20 strikeouts. Manager Bobby Valentine needs some more options in his rotation though, and after watching Morales throw 7.1 innings of scoreless relief over the course of his last two appearances, it was time to give the southpaw a try.
Speaking of teams that just haven’t had all that much in the way of offense this year… The Cubs are now at five straight games with either three or four runs scored, and there is definitely no end in sight for the most part to this team’s struggles. This would be a real bright spot in an otherwise dull season though, if the Cubbies were able to take this game and win this series against the Red Sox. Paul Maholm has had another fairly average year, something that we have really gotten used to out of this southpaw in his career. It feels like he can be penciled in for around six innings and around three runs allowed every single night. Maholm isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, as he has just 43 Ks in 66.0 innings of work. He doesn’t allow a ton of base hits though, keeping his WHIP respectable. However, a 4.91 ERA doesn’t lie, and the fact of the matter is that he is probably lucky to be 4-5 on the campaign and not significantly worse.
We really just don’t think that the Cubs have this one in them tonight. They aren’t all that great of a team, and they have a bad situation on the bump on this night. Morales won’t last long, but if he can find a way to get through six innings without running into big time problems, we expect to see the Red Sox take this clash. Boston 8 Chicago 5