MLB Pick on Cubs, Padres to Stay ‘Under’ in Series Finale

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, May 21, 2015 5:22 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 21, 2015 5:22 PM UTC

Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.


Look for probably the most ‘under’ friendly ballpark in the National League to live up to that billing Thursday night when Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs (22-17, 9-9 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne and the San Diego Padres (20-21, 11-11 home) for the final game of a three-game series from spacious Petco Park in San Diego, CA at 9:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 7 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at a positive +106.

Rubber Game of Series
This is the rubber game of this three-game set after the Padres took the opener here at home 4-3 behind James Shields on Tuesday but the Cubs came back to even the series at +127 odds last night in the return of starter Tsuyoshi Wada after spending the first six weeks of the season on the Disabled List with a groin injury.

Both of these teams were popular sleeper picks to win their respective divisions before the season and both are within range of the leaders at this time. The Cubs have been the winning MLB picks in seven of their last nine games to move to five games over .500 and second place in the National League Central, 4½ games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Padres are still one game below .500 but third in the NL West, only five games behind the first place Dodgers.

Hendricks Better than His Numbers
The highly regarded Hendricks had an excellent rookie season for the Cubs last year going 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 13 starts, but he is still seeking his first win of 2015 and remarkably has six no-decisions in seven starts, as he is 0-1 with a disappointing 5.15 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. However, Hendricks is pitching better than those numbers and should break out any time now.

The 25-year-old has now allowed three runs or less in four of his last six starts, with one of those outings coming against these Padres, who he held to just two runs and three hits with eight strikeouts and not a single walk in six innings despite not factoring in the decision. And that was also already the second time in as many starts that he has pitched well vs. San Diego in his brief career, tossing seven scoreless innings and allowing just five hits against them last year!

Hendricks has 30 strikeouts vs. just nine walks in 36.2 innings and he has been unlucky in allowing a .321 BABIP, which does not figure to continue. Also his first two starts vs. the Padres were at Wrigley Field, so he should appreciate pitching in this pronounced pitchers’ park for the first time, especially vs. a San Diego lineup averaging just 2.40 runs while batting a pathetic .185 overall and .173 vs. right-handers over the last five games.

Cubs Struggling vs. Right-Handers
Now, Despaigne has had a few nice moments for the Padres but they have not come lately, as he has been roughed up for 15 earned runs and 20 hits in only eight innings by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals in his last two starts, ballooning his ERA to 6.75 and WHIP to 1.40 overall with a 2-2 record.

As terrible as those starts were, they came after allowing a total of three runs and eight hits in 13.2 innings over his first two starts of the season, both of them victories. And he now faces a struggling offense vs. right-handed pitchers against whom he can quite possibly regain that form. You see, the Cubs are batting just .237 vs. right-handers over the entire season and that average has dropped to .225 while averaging 3.36 runs against them over the last 10 games.

Furthermore this will be the first ever appearance for the Cuban defector Despaigne vs. the Cubs, which should make him even tougher to hit.

Trending ‘under’
Mainly due to those Chicago troubles vs. righties, the ‘under’ is 6-1-1 in the Cubs’ last eight games vs. right-handed starters. Also, the soft-tossing Despaigne has had a knack for using the dimensions of Petco Park to his advantage, and that has helped the ‘under’ go 5-1 in his last six home starts.

Look for both pitchers to outperform their current mainstream stats and for the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres to stay ‘under’ is the finale of a three-game set out west on Thursday.

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MLB Pick: Cubs, Padres ‘under’ 7 (+106)

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