Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks get post All Star Break baseball started as they meet for game one of their series on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field. The Diamondbacks are -120 favorites over the Cubs with an over/under run total set at 8.
It wasn’t a very good first half of the season for the Chicago Cubs and though they didn’t finish in last place in the National League Central or with the worst record in baseball they were close enough for discomfort. The Cubs were 7-3 in their last 10 games, 19-20 at home this season and in fifth place in the N.L. Central, 15 games behind the Pirates. As a team the Cubs are hitting .248 with Starlin Castro hitting .291, Bryan LaHair hitting .286, and David DeJesus at .271. The Cubs pitching staff checks in with an ERA of 4.36 with the starters at 4.31 and the bullpen at 4.47. For game one against the Diamondbacks Chicago starts Paul Maholm who has won his last two starts. For the season Maholm has allowed 96 hits and 46 earned runs while striking out 60 over 90.2 innings of work for a 4.57 ERA.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have played themselves back into the National League West race as a division that looked to be over early has turned into a dogfight. The Diamondbacks are 4-6 in their last 10 games, 19-22 on the road this season, and they are four games back in the N.L. West. As a team the Diamondbacks are hitting .263 with Paul Goldschmidt at .302, Aaron Hill at .300, Willie Bloomquist at .294, and Jason Kubel at .293. As a team the D-backs pitching staff has an ERA of 4.03 with the starters at 4.26 and the bullpen at 3.54. For game one against the Cubs Arizona starts Ian Kennedy who hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was last season. For the year Kennedy has allowed 120 hits and 51 earned runs while striking out 95 over 107.2 innings of work for a 4.26 ERA.
Chicago is 5-1 in their last six home games, 4-1 in their last five games against a left handed starter, and 3-7 in Maholm’s last 10 starts. Arizona is 5-1 in their last six games against a left handed starter, 2-6 in their last eight road games, and 2-6 in Kennedy’s last eight road starts. Arizona is 1-5 in their last six games at Wrigley.
I like the Cubs here as a slight underdog.
Chicago Cubs -110 Arizona Diamondbacks