For those betting baseball that did not buy into the Chicago Cubs at the beginning of the season, if you wagered against the Joe Maddon’s team every game since June 5th, you bankroll is bursting.
From that date thru yesterday, the Cubs are insidious -23.65 units, with 13-19 record. Sportsbooks like BetonLine have just been cleaning up, as like lemmings, Cubs bettors just know this is there year and have been diligently losing money hand over fist.
This is Chicago’s 24th game in 24 days and if ever a team was playing like they needed a break, it is this group, yet seven of their players have to fly cross-country to San Diego for All-Star game and return to Chicago for afternoon contest on Friday.
After a super start, John Lackey (7-5, 3.50, 1.08 WHIP) has seen his fortunes nosedive like his team’s. Lackey has a 7.56 ERA over his last three outings and don’t have to be Inspector Gadget (check You Tube to learn more) to understand the problem. The tall Texan has surrendered 10 walks in just over 16 innings along with 18 base-knocks, which lead to nothing but trouble. Lackey has not been locating fastball accurately and slider and curve have lacked usual break.
As we have talked about here before, Jonathon Niese (7-6, 4.87, 1.53) is all or nothing performer. In six starts beginning May 9th, the Pirates lefty permitted only nine runs. In his next half dozen trips to the mound, Niese was tagged for 21 runs in 21 1/3 innings over four starts. Held back a day to rest sore knee, the Ohio native did not allow St. Louis to set off any fireworks on July 4th, limiting them to one run in 5 2/3 innings. Will Niese begin a positive period again?
When the Cubs were averaging almost six runs a contest, seemingly, whenever a big hit was needed, somebody came through. During this dismal stretch, this has not been the case. Sure the Chicago still leads the league in on-base percentage, but their run of the mill .250-ish team batting average is plaguing them. Nobody has stepped into Dexter Fowler’s shoes as leadoff hitter and game-changing base hits have been lacking.