Cubs & Padres MLB Pick: Hammel vs. Shields at Value Price

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 5:09 PM GMT

Tuesday, May. 19, 2015 5:09 PM GMT

Tuesday play has it all, better hitting, better pitching, and better current form... Join me in this Cubs/Padres MLB pick and meet me in the winners circle.

Chicago Cubs (Hammel) at San Diego Padres (Shields) +120 10:10 PM EST
The Cubs and the Padres faced off in a three game set at Wrigley Field April 17-19. The Padres took two of three in a highly competitive series. Cubs bring a record of 21-16 to this series, including 8-8 as traveler. San Diego is 19-20 for the season, including 10-10 on their home field. Chicago enter off a 6-1 home stand, while the Padres lost three consecutive on this field to Washington to conclude their four game set.

Nonetheless, this has the makings of the best San Diego team for a number of years. Early MLB betting odds for projected win totals this season were on the plus side of .500 after seasons of 76, 76, 77 wins the previous three seasons. Look no further than a batting OPS of .704, which is well above numbers of recent seasons. Issues for the Padres tonight revolve around the overrated arm of tonight’s starter, Shields. The 5-0 record and 4.3 K/BB belie the fact that he has a .831 OPS, meaning he is getting bashed around the park. After five quality starts to open the season, Shields was bashed for 10 ER and 11 1/3 IP in a pair of starts before pitching 6 solid innings in a 4-2 win at Seattle.

This is also the Cubs best team in recent seasons. In the last three years, Chicago has gone from 61 to 66 to 73 victories. Like the Padres, pre-season prognostications have put them on the winning side of .500. As with many young teams, the Cubs have been a streaky group. They broke from the gate at 12-7, struggled in going 3-8, but enter tonight winners of 6 of 7 (at home against the Mets and Pirates). Major contributor to that success has been tonight’s starter, Hammel. With a record of 3-1 and 3.11 ERA is impressive enough. But the peripherals, which speak more loudly to a pitcher’s success, are clearly impressive. For the season, Hammel has a 0.99 WHIP, a .628 OPS, and a 6.8 K/BB. He is an overachieving pitcher whom we’re eager to ride. In his last four starts, he has an ERA of 1.86 after allowing one run in 8 innings vs the Mets.

At this point in the season, the Cubs are playing a bit better baseball than the Padres. But what I really like about the matchup is Hammel vs Shields at a value price for our MLB pick, but with peripheral numbers that all greatly favor Hammel.

MLB Pick: Take Chicago Cubs at BetOnline

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