Add Cubs to Your MLB Picks Over Padres

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014 2:30 PM UTC

As anyone overlooking the betting odds to make MLB picks can tell you, if you are looking for scoring, you got off on the wrong exit with these two National League teams. 

Chicago is 24th in run production and if you have been following the statistics even remotely, San Diego has the worst offense in the majors by a dramatic margin.

With lighter winds blowing in off Lake Michigan and the game-time temperature expected in the mid-60’s, the ball will not travel well and runs could be precious.

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San Diego’s Lack of Offense has Baseball Historians Hard at Work
Last evening was the 15th time already this season the Padres have posted a goose egg on the scoreboard and it was the 37th time they have scored two or fewer runs, which has now happen in more than a third of their season with 99 games played.

While there are no guaranteed winners in any sport, given the volumes of games, the closest thing to a sure winner against the MLB odds is San Diego and UNDER, with their 65-30-4 record.

The trade of Chase Headley hardly matters, since the Friars had a .215 batting average with the former third baseman and to put that figure into text, that is the third-lowest team batting average since the 1968 New York Yankees (.214) and the dead-ball era Chicago White Sox of 1910.

To place the Padres inoffensive season into proper perspective, St. Louis has the next worst scoring team and they are 22 percent better at 3.7 compared to the Pads 2.9. Tonight’s opponent Chicago looks like the great Yankees teams of the late 90’s and earlier this century, averaging one full run more per game.


Chicago’s Patience Helps Sports Bettors
If you have heard the old biblical phrase – The patience of Job – that would describe the Chicago. Coming off their three worst seasons record-wise in a long history of failure, the Cubs front office has patiently rebuilt the farm system with a number of potential strong prospects and unlike Houston, they have steadfastly refused to rush any of them to the big leagues.

This has helped baseball bettors in no uncertain terms, because playing against these Lovable Cubbies, has netted over 60 units of profit in this stretch, including them being down -9.3 this season.

If there is a faint light at the end of a long tunnel, players like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are legitimate piece worth keeping. But the rest are keeping spots warm for younger players and money will be expected to continue to flow by betting against the North Siders.


Pitching Matchup for Wednesday
Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.62 ERA) takes the ball for San Diego and he’s 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA in his last four starts against the Cubs. The Padres right-hander is on a path to a career-high in strikeouts, averaging 9.5 per nine innings. Never known as a hard thrower, Kennedy relies on command of all his pitches since the movement on his tosses is only average. His ERA this month is a sharp 2.08.

Tsuyoshi Wada will be making his second big league start Chicago. In his major league debut against Cincinnati on July 8, Wada turned in five strong innings, yielding an unearned run on five hits in a no-decision. Wada has a chance to stay in the rotation, with the Cubs recent trades, but the fact of the matter he’s just another stop-gap player being 33-years old. Before being recalled, the lefty was leading the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts.


Bullpen View
In reviewing San Diego, what MLB handicappers and those making sports picks have to decide about this team is can they score enough to win or at least be in position to do so. If so, they have the bullpen to close the deal, ranking first in ERA in the NL and second in on-base percentage and OPS.

Undoubtedly playing at Petco Park is an advantage for any pitcher, but this group helps itself by being in the upper third in strikeouts and lower third in walks in the league. Though the Padres do not win frequently, they lead baseball in save percentage at 86 percent, however, keep an eye on this since closer Huston Street has been dealt.

Chicago pensters are not nearly as effective with a 3.63 ERA (10th in NL) and their save percentage is only ahead of Colorado in the senior circuit. This contingent is unstable and certainly a contributor to the Cubs 9-17 record in one run games.


Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
Chicago has taken three of five this season and is 6-2 as hosts against the Padres at Wrigley Field the last three years. Sportsbooks made the Padres a -120 favorite because of the known pitching factor, but those betting baseball have switched Chicago a modest -109 favorite, unconvinced by the San Diego offense.

Given the expected conditions, the total of seven appears correct.


The Winner Is….
This is probably the most difficult choice I have had to make all year since the options are bad or worse, but I’ll give a nod to the home team since they are 10-3 at Wrigley vs. a NL starting pitcher whose WHIP is 1.250 or better this season. 

MLB Free Picks: Cubs win

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