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Cubs to start fast vs. struggling Rockies

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We split our MLB plays on Tuesday night. Shane Bieber soared over his strikeout line, but the Padres couldn't get the job done versus the Cardinals.

Let's take a look at the best ways to attack Wednesday's card.

Rockies (+170) @ Cubs (-200)

The Cubs dropped their first two games of the campaign. They rebounded with three straight wins, in which time they've outscored opponents 26-7. They're playing great baseball.

I expect that to continue Wednesday night against Cal Quantrill and the Rockies. Quantrill's struggled since early March, and his problems continued into his season opener. Dating back to spring training, he's allowed 32 hits and seven homers over his last 18.1 innings of work.

He's not locating his pitches well and giving up a ton of hard contact. That spells trouble against a Cubs offense that leads the majors in xwOBA and walk rate against right-handed pitching. Chicago also sits second in contact rate, which only makes things harder on a pitcher who can't make batters miss.

I expect the Cubs to get to Quantrill early and often. If Luke Little can hold his own against a Colorado team hitting .193 versus lefties thus far, Chicago should comfortably lead after five innings.

Bet: Cubs F5 -0.5 (-125)

Nick Pivetta: Under 1.5 walks

Pivetta is a very efficient pitcher. He's gone under his walk total in 20 of his past 30 starts, averaging exactly one walk per game in that span.

It looks like he carried his elite control from last year into this season. Pivetta faced 21 batters in his debut against the Mariners and didn't issue a single free pass. He threw strikes at a higher rate than all of today's expected starters except Corbin Burnes and generated swings and misses on over 20% of his pitches.

Pivetta couldn't ask for a better matchup than a road game versus the Athletics. Oakland's striking out a league-leading 32.8% of the time against right-handed pitching and owns a dreadful 64.1% contact rate - miles below the MLB average of 73.1%.

The Athletics don't have much plate discipline and struggle to make contact. Pivetta should pile up the strikes - deserved or not - and work with plenty of favorable counts.

Odds: -105 (playable to -125)

Kyle Harrison: Under 5.5 strikeouts

Harrison has produced five strikeouts or fewer in seven of his eight career starts. The lone exception came against a young, inexperienced Reds team that plays with a free-swinging mentality.

The Dodgers are a different beast. Harrison found that out last season when he generated only six strikeouts over two starts against them. I don't see a reason for a spike in production this time around.

Los Angeles is near the top of the league in batting average, on-base percentage, barrel rate, xwOBA, and pretty much every other offensive category. The team is also as disciplined as anybody at the plate, swinging at only 45.7% of pitches this season - one of the lowest marks in the majors.

Harrison has to challenge Dodgers batters with quality pitches over the zone and make them miss. That'll be a struggle for him.

He's a talented pitcher, but Harrison hasn't shown the ability to overpower opponents and generate swings and misses in bulk. He posted just a 6.8% swinging strike rate in his season opener against the Padres.

Look for Harrison to last around five innings and fail to pile up the strikeouts.

Odds: -150 (playable to -175)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

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