The Chicago Cubs have continued their hot start to the season by taking the first two games of their three game series against the lowly Oakland Athletics. They’ll look to complete the sweep in today’s series finale, with first pitch set for 3:37 p.m. ET. Justin Steele (2-01, 1.42 ERA) is on the mound for the North Siders while flamethrowing prospect Mason Miller will make his MLB debut for the A’s.
The Cubs are -155 favorites on the moneyline on DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Athletics are +135 underdogs. The total is set at 7.5.
Cubs-Athletics picks: Wednesday, April 19th
Out: SP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder strain), RP Codi Heuer (right elbow surgery)
Out: RP Dany Jimenez (strained right shoulder), SP Paul Blackburn (eight middle fingernail avulsion), C Manny Pina (left wrist inflammation), SP Domingo Acevedo (lower back/oblique strain), SP Drew Rucinski (left hamstring tightness), OF Seth Brown (left oblique)
Justin Steele vs. Mason Miller
Steele has been one of the biggest surprises of the year, and is coming off a start where he scattered two runs over seven innings in a win over the Dodgers. Steele’s fastball has been a different animal this year, as he’s held batters to a .211 average against the pitch this season after giving up batting average of .312 off it last season. That fastball is complemented by a wipeout slider that hitters have gone 1-for-25 against this year.
Miller, the A’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com who the team selected in the third round in the 2021 draft, is 1-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 28 2/3 career innings in the Minors and is coming off a start of five scoreless innings in Triple-A. This won’t be a spot start for Miller, as general manager David Forst told reporters that the righty will be in the rotation going forward.
Yesterday, this under easily cleared in a 4-0 Cubs win. That trend will continue today, as I’m not expecting a ton of combined offense. I can’t see the Athletics’ hapless offense generating much off Steele, and I also think Miller will be able to hold his own against a Cubs’ lineup that hasn’t seen his stuff yet.
Pick: Under 7.5
Give me the Cubs completing the sweep. As mentioned above, Steele is off to a strong start to the season, and that should continue against an A’s team that has combined to score one run for the first two games of the series. The Cubs should cruise here.