The Chicago Cubs, who were 8.5 games back in the NL Central in mid-July, look like inevitable division champions early in August.
The Cubs are the only team in the division playing well. They have won 15 of 19 and just took two of three from a powerhouse Atlanta Braves team over the weekend. Meanwhile the two teams who were ahead of Chicago are stumbling. The Cincinnati Reds have lost six in a row. The Milwaukee Brewers dropped two of their last three games at home to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Next up, the Cubs get a three-game series against a New York Mets team that looks like it wants the season to be over. The Mets have lost six in a row, but are still -120 favorites at BetMGM at home against the Cubs on Monday.
The Cubs start that series 1.5 games behind the Brewers in the standings, and tied with the Reds. They have been crushing the ball on offense lately, which has fueled their hot streak. They were 8.5 games back when the hot streak started and in the last 19 games they’ve shaved seven games off their deficit in the NL Central.
The Brewers are -115 favorites to win the division and the Cubs are +200. The Reds are behind them at +280. Based on what we’ve seen lately, maybe the odds for the Cubs and Brewers should be flipped. It certainly would help the Cubs’ case if they beat up on the Mets this week.
Here’s the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
The rest of MLB
There are 12 games in Major League Baseball on Monday. The Reds are on the spot, trying to break their losing streak as they fade in the NL Central and wild-card races. Cincinnati takes on the Miami Marlins, who are still in that wild-card race at 58-55. Miami is a -135 road favorite.
Two other teams coming off a rough weekend meet up in Anaheim, as the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have lost six in a row and are now seven games out of a wild-card spot after being buyers at the deadline. The Giants lost two in a row to the lowly Oakland A’s over the weekend. The Giants are -120 favorites.
Women’s World Cup continues
There are two Round of 16 matches early Tuesday morning in the Women’s World Cup. Columbia takes on Jamaica, with Columbia as a +105 favorite on the three-way line. Then France faces Morocco. France is a huge -650 favorite to win.
What’s the best bet?
I like riding with streaks in baseball, so why wouldn’t I take the Cubs as a strange underdog? The pitching matchup isn’t good for Chicago, with Drew Smyly for the Cubs against Kodai Senga of the Mets. Smyly has been bad lately and Senga has been a bright spot in a disappointing Mets season. But the Mets looked entirely checked out as they got swept by the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. I don’t figure they’ll find a burst of energy as they play out the string, so I’ll go with the Cubs.