The San Diego Padres (19-10, 9-5 home) open the week with game one of a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs (9-18, 5-7 away). Monday’s opener will be the first time the two NL teams have faced each other this season.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. EST at Petco Park in San Diego, CA. The Padres are favored (-160) in game one, and the over-under total is seven runs.
What to Know – Chicago Cubs
The Cubs head to the West Coast on a five-game losing slide, all at Wrigley Field. Chicago has tumbled to fourth in the NL Central, nine games back of the leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Monday’s expected starter for Chicago is right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-3, 5.64 ERA, 1.48 WHIP). Hendricks hasn’t had the start to the season he or the Cubs would have liked as the team’s no. 1 pitcher. The 32-year-old has appeared in six contests, allowing 19 earned runs over 30.1 innings of work.
Most of Chicago’s offensive production from the last few years was dealt last season prior to the trade deadline, and the Cubs lineup now features many new faces. Rookie outfielder Seiya Suzuki has transitioned well from Japan, hitting .244 with four home runs and 15 runs batted in through his first 27 contests. Slugging third baseman Patrick Wisdom missed Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers and is considered day-to-day.
The Cubs score 3.8 runs per game behind a .232 team batting average that ranks 16th in the majors. Chicago’s pitching staff sports a 4.35 team earned run average that ranks 25th and near the bottom of the league.
What to Know – San Diego Padres
San Diego looks to keep the good times rolling after picking up four wins in six games last week. The Padres are second in the NL West as they continue to navigate their schedule without star shortstop Frenando Tatis Jr.
Rookie MacKenzie Gore (2-0, 1.71 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) gets the ball on the mound of the hosts. Gore, who is filling in for the injured Blake Snell, has done nothing but impress since joining the big leagues. The 23-year-old top prospect has thrown 21.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on 16 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts.
With the absence of Tatis Jr. from the lineup for the first few months, the Padres needed a starter to step up to carry the offense. Third baseman Manny Machado has done just that, leading the Padres across the board with a .385 batting average, seven home runs, and 21 RBI. Machado’s batting average is the best in the majors.
San Diego averages 4.4 runs per game with a team batting average of .223 that sits 23rd in the MLB. The Padres’ pitchers are 12th in the MLB with a 3.54 team ERA.
The Pick is In
The Cubs’ pitching and offensive production is struggling, and a late cross-country flight isn’t going to help get things moving for Chicago. Gore has looked like a seasoned vet since jumping up to the big leagues and shouldn’t have a problem keeping the Cubs lineup in check.
Betting Pick: San Diego Padres ML