Lean Towards Chicago's ML & The Over As Cubs-Padres Collide In NL Series Opening Game

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 22, 2016 3:44 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 22, 2016 3:44 PM UTC

Cubs 9-game Road Trip hits the West Coast. Let’s look at recent games in this series, both scheduled hurlers, Monday’s Weather Forecast and provide an MLB pick in what could be a tough game for the Cubs, despite the odds.

CH Cubs vs San Diego Padres
The team with the best Record in MLB, the Chicago Cubs head to Petco Park in San Diego on Monday night to face the Padres in Game 1 of this 3-game NL series. San Diego took 2 of 3 games from the NL Central-leading Cubs when these two met back in May, losing 8-7 in the first meeting and then winning the next two in The House That Murphy The Billy Goat Built, 7-4 and 1-0. Offshore oddsmakers have opened up the Cubs as large -210 Road favorites (BetOnline)—San Diego is currently priced as +194 Underdog—with the Total (Runs) set at 8 Over -115 (BetOnline).

On Tuesday in Game 2 (COX 96, 10:10 p.m. EDT/7:10 p.m. PDT), the Cubs will send ace RHP Jake Arrieta (15-5) against the Padres Christian Friedrich (4-9) while on in the series finale and Game 3 on Wednesday (3:40 p.m. EDT/12:40 p.m. PDT) Chicago is scheduled to send RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-7) against San Diego’s Paul Clemens (2-2). After an off-day Thursday, the Cubs will end the Road trip with 3 games in Los Angeles Friday, Saturday and Sunday (TBS).


Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs (3/1 to win World Series, WilliamHill) and Manager Joe Maddon come into this series in Southern California playing some really good baseball, winners of 15 of their L18 heading into Game 3 against the Rockies on Sunday afternoon and possessing the best overall Record in MLB (78-14) and holding a 13-game over the 2nd-place St. Louis Cardinals (65-57). In the NL Central heading into play on Sunday (COL 7-0 T4). And Bonanza High School (Las Vegas) product Kris Bryant remained torrid for the North Siders, with 10 Hits and 10 RBI in 3 games—including a 471-foot blast on Saturday that still hasn’t landed—only the third Cubs player to ever achieve that feat since 1920 (Billy Williams, Kiki Cuyler). 

On Sunday in Game 3 at Colorado, Maddon and the Cubs (33-25 on Road) put out a Starting Lineup of CF Dexter Fowler, 3B Kris Bryant, 1B Anthony Rizzo, RF Ben Zobrist, SS Addison Russell, C Wilson Contreras, 2B Javier Báez. LF Matt Szczur with RHP Jason Hammel getting the pill against southpaw Jorge De La Rosa for Colorado. The Cubs (627 RF-412 RA, +215 RD) have been playing the season without OF and Indiana University product Kyle Schwarber (Left Knee) who suffered a torn ACL.


San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres (1,000/1 to win World Series, Betway) and Manager Andy Green have hit a Summer slump of sorts, L9 of their L13 to fall 19 games under. 500 (52-71) and 16 Games Behind (GB) the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants (68-55) heading into play on Sunday. And even though the Padres (535 RF-601 RA) had a recent MLB-tying streak of homering in 25 straight games, San Diego may have two simple goals it always has around September in 1—Not finishing with 100 Losses, and... 2—Not finishing in the last place in the NL West. And luckily for Green and his boys, the Arizona Diamondbacks (51-72), are having an equally crappy season in the Standings yet had higher expectations and spent more money in the Offseason than did the Friars. 

On Sunday in the finale of their series against the Diamondbacks in San Diego, the Padres (29-31 at Home) had a Batting Order of: CF Travis Jankowski, 3B Yangervis Solarte, LF Alex Dickerson, 2B Ryan Schimpf, RF Christian Bethancourt, 1B Brett Wallace, LF Patrick Kivlehan—called up from Triple-A El Paso on Saturday—and SS Alexei Ramirez with RHP Luis Perdomo (5-7) getting the start for San Diego (3-7 L10) and RHP Braden Shipley (2-2) getting the baseball for Arizona. The Padres (73-50 on Run Line) took the first 2 games of the 4-games NL West series in high-scoring Overs (9-8, 7-4) after L5 in a row on the Road after being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Pete and losing the L2 of a 3-game series at CitiBank Field against the Mets. San Diego also called up LHP Keith Hessler from Triple-A El Paso Saturday along with speedy OF Kivlehan.


Scheduled Starting Pitchers Stats and Trends
Tacoma, Washington native and 10-year MLB veteran LHP Jon Lester (13-4, 2.86 ERA, 146 K’s, 1.02 WHIP) will be making his first start ever at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday evening and although the 6-4, 230-pound Lefty has been at Home at Wrigley Field this MLB Regular Season (7-2, 2.01 ERA), Lester is an impressive 6-2 with a 3.88 ERA away from the Windy City. 

Starting San Diego RHP Edwin Jackson (3-3, 5.26 ERA, 30 Ks, 1.51 WHIP)—who came over in a recent trade with the Miami Marlins—was roughed up in his last Start at Tampa, but the veteran has put in Quality Starts in 4 of his L6 appearances with San Diego and with the Cubs in town and this being Lester’s first start in San Diego, expect the best from Jackson although this hot-hitting Cubs lineup with sparkplug Fowler leading off and back in the fold is no fun for anyone, Home or Away. Against Lester, Ramírez, (29 ABs, .210) and Norris (13 ABs, .231, HR) are the only two with a significant sample size of Plate Appearances against the Cubs Lefty, while Jason Heyward (.188) and Miguel Montero (.429 in 14 ABs) are the only two Chicago (66-56 on Run Line) batters with significant ABs vs. the 6-3, 210-pound Jackson although Soler is 1-for-1 with a Home Run.

Some Pitcher’s Trends for this one: Chicago is 4-0 the L4 Lester Starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance, Chicago is 4-o in Lester’s L4 Game 1 Starts of a series and the Cubs are 8-0 in Lester’s L8 Road Starts against a club with a Losing record. Also, Chicago is 4-0 in Lester’s L4 Starts on a Monday, 17-4 his L21 Starts vs. a team with a Losing Record and Chicago is 16-5 in Lester’s L21 Starts overall (76.2%) as well as 16-5 his L21 starts on Grass (Petco Park). And, San Diego is 0-6 in its L6 games against a Left-Handed Pitching Starter, so almost all of the Pitching Trends point to backing Lester and the Road chalks in this contest on Monday night.


San Diego Weather Forecast for Monday Night, Trends, and Best “Keep It Simple” Approach
The Weather Channel forecast for San Diego on Monday night is calling for Mostly Clear conditions in the evening followed by cloud, a Low of 66° with NW Winds of 5-10 mph and 84% Humidity, so, ideal conditions at Petco Park likely. As usual. The Cubs will be playing 2 Body Clock Hours behind their natural Circadian Rhythms, but after a 4-game series in the Altitude of playing in the Mountain Time Zone (MDT), Chicago should be somewhat adjusted and may prefer the Beach and the Ocean and the no Altitude, although the ball carries so well in Denver and may be beneficial to a lineup so strong.

Some Cubs (1/100 to win NL Central, 888sport) Trends: Chicago was 4-1 the L5 Road games heading into Sunday at the Rockies, 20-6 their L26 overall and 20-6 their L26 on Grass, 16-5 their L21 games on a Monday and Chicago is 19-7 its L26 against a RHP Starter. The Cubbies are also 5-2 their L7 vs. the NL West, an impressive 63-25 the L88 against a team with a Losing Record (71.6%) and the Cubs are 75-30 their L105 games (71.4%) against a RHP Starter with a WHIP above 1.30 (Jackson 1.51). Chicago is also 45-18 the L63 Game 1’s of a series, so General manager Theo Epstein going out and getting Manager Joe Maddon has proved to be the thing this organization needed to help get it over the hump.

Some Padres (5,000/1 to win NL West, Betway) Trends: San Diego is 5-0 the L5 Home games against a team with a Winning Record, the Padres are 4-10 their L1 against the NL Central and the Friars are 0-6 their L6 against a LHOP Starter, so again, the Trends point to the big Favorites and the team with the best Record in MLB. But here, even though the Under is 22-10-2 the L34 Cubs games on Grass as well as the L34 Chicago NL games overall (68.8%), 18-7-1 the L26 Game 1’s of a series and 8-2 Chicago’s L10 vs. the NL West, the Over is 7-3-1 the L11 games in this series and with the Weather nice and Jackson on the bump, Chicago could very well put up an 8-spot in this situation.


Free MLB Picks: Cubs -223 at Pinnacle , Over 8 -110 at BetOnline
Free MLB Picks Record Season To Date: 22-26-3

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