Go, Jonny, Go

Lester looks to match his performance from his previous outing against Atlanta

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Graphic: Travis Jepeway/SAC.Media

Coming off of a win from the last post, we will look to keep things rolling and keep that money coming in. As I stated before, it’s best to stick to players and teams that you know well, so this is why I am going to focus on one of my all-time favorite pitchers in the game, Jon Lester.

Matchup

Lester will be taking the mound against the Atlanta Braves, who are countering with Julio Teheran. These two pitchers last faced each other when the Cubs went to Atlanta and lost 6-4 on April 3. Teheran only gave up one run on six hits with seven strikeouts in five innings pitched, while Lester pitched six innings giving up two runs on six hits and had seven strikeouts with a total of 106 pitches.

The 35 year old left-handed pitcher holds a 6-5 record and a 4.13 ERA so far this season. He has started 14 games and has 75 strikeouts giving him an average of 5.35 strikeouts per game this season. In his last five games, he has a slightly higher 5.6 strikeout average. His numbers have been significantly better while pitching at home, having pitched 28.4 innings and struck out 29 batters in his last five games. In four of those five games he had six strikeouts, and in the fifth he only had five. As if five strikeouts in a start is a bad thing, right?

Current Lines

The line for Lester’s total strikeouts is set at 4.5, while the Cubs team total is set at 5.5 and the Braves team total is set at 5.5. There is also the option of a first five total of 6.5 or a second half total of 4.5.

Key Points

Cubs bullpen has a 3.93 ERA, while the Braves bullpen has a 4.26 ERA. Considering the last time they played each other the game ended 6-4, there were seven runs given up by the bullpens combined. So with the second half total set to 4.5, it may be worth looking into.

Overall, the Cubs have averaged 6.35 runs for every game that Lester has started. According to Team Rankings, Atlanta is giving up 4.85 runs per game. They have given up 5.33 in the last three and 4.43 on the road.

Lester is good for his season average of 5.35 strikeouts per game. With Atlanta having an 8.49 strikeout per game average on the season, 8.33 in the last three games and 8.24 on the road, I expect his strikeout total to be closer to seven.

Takeaway

The line for Cubs team total is set at 5.5, and they only have averaged 5.05 runs per game this season. Offense provided only four runs the last time they faced Atlanta with Lester on the mound, so I’m going to pass on it.

I’m going to take the total strikeouts bet on Lester. It is only set at 4.5 and he has easily averaged more than that this season, and against Atlanta. So this seems like a worthwhile prop that is worth the risk.

The game will take place at Wrigley Field, in Chicago, at 5:05 PST. Get those bets in early and, as always, best of luck!