Yankees vs. Cubs Predictions and MLB Series Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 6/17/2011
My advice to Chicago Cubs fans: be careful what you wish for.
Cubs enthusiasts were thrilled when Major League Baseball schedule-makers announced that the New York Yankees would be making their first appearance in Wrigley Field since 2003. However, while the luster may remain for this marquee series the reality is that the Bronx Bombers are bringing some big sticks to the North Side this weekend and represent a tall task for a struggling Cubs team that has lost 12 of 17 games.
Entering this year the Yankees were the best team in the Majors over the 14 years of Interleague Play. Naturally, they took two of three games from the New York Mets in their initial interleague series this year and now the Yankees are 146-103 all-time in interleague play.
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The Cubs made a rare trip to Fenway Park earlier this year in their first interleague series, but were pummeled in their two losses during a series defeat. Chicago is now just 99-108 all-time in Interleague Play.
Apparently the Yankees aren’t missing Derek Jeter. They have scored an average of eight runs in their three games without The Captain, including back-to-back 12-run efforts in the first two games of their series win over Texas.
Here is an in-depth look with odds and predictions for this weekend’s New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs interleague series:
Friday’s Pitching Matchup - Freddy Garcia vs. Doug Davis
Fred Garcia will toe the rubber in the opener for the Yankees. He has been a pleasant surprise for the Bombers this year, giving up three runs or less in seven of his last 10 starts while posting a 3.60 ERA for the season.
Garcia has been an interleague superhero. He has a career 21-9 record and 2.91 ERA in interleague play. Since 2005 he is 9-3 in interleague play.
Garcia, who used to pitch for the Cubs cross-town rivals, the White Sox, has been incredible against the Northsiders. He is 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA in his career against the Cubs and gave up just one unearned run and five hits in seven innings in his lone career start at Wrigley.
Doug Davis takes the ball for the Cubs and he has been a debacle in his six starts this year. He has lost each start and is carrying around a hefty 5.90 ERA on the season. Davis hasn’t faced the Yankees since 2007, but he has a 6.28 ERA against them in his career.
Davis has had some success against New York’s 3-4-5 hitters (they are a combined 1-for-15 against him), but he should find it to be tough sledding against the No. 6 team in the Majors batting against left-handed pitching.
Saturday’s Pitching Matchup – A.J. Burnett vs. Ryan Dempster
This game will be featured as one of Fox’s Games of the Week.
Burnett has been having, well, a very A.J. Burnett-type of season. His last outing was an exceptional one-run effort in nearly eight innings of work against the Indians. His outing prior to that saw him yield eight runs in just over five innings in a loss at home to Boston.
But Burnett is 16-10 in his career in Interleague Play with a scant 3.69 ERA. He is 2-0 in three starts at Wrigley and is 3-0 with a 4.21 ERA in his career against the Cubs.
Dempster is starting to round into form after a disastrous start to the season. He has given up two runs or less in seven of his last nine starts and is coming off his best effort of the year (7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs) against the Brewers. However, Dempster is still just 5-5 on the year (although the Cubs have won six of his seven starts) and is carrying a 5.48 ERA.
Sunday’s Pitching Matchup – C.C. Sabathia vs. Randy Wells
This game will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
On the surface it looks like Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia is just humming along in the middle of another excellent year. However, if you look a little deeper you would see that he has given up four runs or more in four of his last seven starts and has reaped the benefits of excellent run support. He has won five of six starts, though, and has just a 3.28 ERA on the season.
Sabathia lost his lone start at Wrigley as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008. He gave up four runs in seven innings in that one. He is just 1-2 with a 5.76 ERA in his career against Chicago. However, he is 17-7 in interleague play.
Randy Wells and his flat fastball haven’t fared too well for the Cubs. He has been walloped for 14 runs in his last 18 innings and is sporting just a 5.62 ERA on the season. He is coming off his best start of the year, a six-inning, two-run win over the Brewers, but right now the prospects aren’t looking great for Wells in this primetime spot.
The Recent Series
The last meeting between these venerable franchises occurred back in 2005. The Yankees swept the Cubs easily in New York, outscoring the visitors 23-10. Prior to that their last matchup was in 2003 at Wrigley. The Yankees won the first game of that series but the Cubs managed to take the final pair.
In all, the home team has won five of the six meetings.
Yankees at Cubs Series Odds and Trends
The New York Yankees are listed as -180 favorites to take the series at WagerWeb. The Cubbies are +150 on the underdog moneyline.
Cubs are 10-22 in their last 32 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
Cubs are 18-43 in their last 61 games as a home underdog.
Cubs are 9-24 in their last 33 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Cubs are 7-19 in their last 26 games as a home underdog of +110 to +150.
Cubs are 5-14 in their last 19 interleague games as an underdog.
Cubs are 4-12 in their last 16 overall.
Cubs are 2-7 in their last 9 vs. American League East.
Yankees are 5-0 in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
Yankees are 8-1 in their last 9 games vs. a left-handed starter.
Yankees are 6-1 in their last 7 road games.
Yankees are 6-2 in their last 8 interleague games.
Yankees are 23-8 in their last 31 vs. National League Central.
Yankees are 20-8 in their last 28 interleague games as a favorite.
Yankees vs. Cubs Predictions
Emotion is going to be running high for the home team in this series. But that can’t make up the major talent disparity on the field. The Cubs just took three of four games from the red-hot Brewers, but they were outplayed in three of those four games and were lucky to get some wins. I don’t see that carrying over.
I think that the Yankees are going to manage a sweep in this series and my prediction is that two of the games will be wins by multiple runs, with the third coming due to a Cubs bullpen meltdown.
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. He is considered one of the top MLB cappers in the country and has turned a profit in four of the last five years on the diamond with his baseball picks. He closed 2010 with $6,000 in earnings over the last four months and is looking forward to a great upcoming season against the MLB odds. Click here for more information on his MLB picks.
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