Bales' Best Bet - Chicago Cubs vs Minnesota Twins
Justin Steele and the Chicago Cubs will travel to Target Field for a matchup against Joe Ryan and the Minnesota Twins. Steele’s seen mixed results in the MLB, although he’s flashed at times, while Ryan will be making his MLB debut tonight. Neither offense has been overly dominant over the last 14 days, although both have shown flashes over that span. Ultimately, this is a relatively close matchup for these teams with the Twins showing more promise.
The odds don’t represent how close of a game this should ultimately be, as the Twins are sizeable -180 favorites. These teams essentially have the same record in the MLB this season, and they are both 4-6 of their last 10 games. Minnesota ranks last in the AL Central, while Chicago ranks second-last in the NL Central.
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Justin Steele and the Cubs opened as +170 underdogs to Joe Ryan and the Twins. The odds are shifting toward Chicago, though, as they are now only +155 underdogs. The game total opened at 8 runs, increasing to 9 throughout the day. Overall, the Twins boast a 5.8 implied team total, which can be found on our Trends page.
Steele’s found surprising strikeout success as a rookie in the MLB. He enters this game with a varying strikeout rate depending on the sportsbook. The majority of books have it set at 4.5, while the DraftKings Sportsbook has it set at 3.5. They offer -140 odds at 3.5, while the best odds at 4.5 are +138 on the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Steele’s looked outstanding in terms of strikeouts in the MLB, posting 28.1% and 12.5% swinging-strike rates throughout his rookie season. He’s likely to see some strikeout regression as he throws more innings, although his 11.1 K/9 isn’t expected to dip dramatically this season.
Overall, Steele owns 32 strikeouts over 26 innings through 14 games (3 starts). He recorded 1, 5, and 5 strikeouts in his 3 starts, throwing only 12.2 innings in those starts. Steele’s flashed in relief duties, as well, recording 3 and 5 strikeouts in 1.1 and 2 innings against the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds.
In limited innings, Steele’s strikeout rate jumped from 23.7% at home to 32.7% on the road. His xFIP also dips to 3.19 outside of Chicago. He’s significantly better against left-handed batters, as well, recording a 37.8% strikeout rate against lefties compared to a 23.4% rate against righties. Furthermore, Steele’s xFIP drops to 3.32 against left-handed batters in 2021.
He gets a solid matchup against the Twins tonight. They’ve been struggling in recent games, posting a .299 team wOBA and a 24.2% team strikeout rate over the last 14 days. These are two of the worst marks on the entire slate.
The biggest concern in this game is that Minnesota is expected to utilize nine right-handed batters tonight. That drops Steele’s strikeout potential drastically. Still, they haven’t been playing well as an offense and they do feature plenty of strikeouts. Steele’s strikeout number is a bit too low on this slate. You can safely use the 3.5 total on DraftKings tonight, although I prefer the plus odds on over 4.5 strikeouts on FanDuel.
Bet 1 unit on Justin Steele over 4.5 strikeouts (+138) to win 1.38 units on FanDuel Sportsbook - Click the link to receive a $1,000 risk-free bet