San Diego Padres (28-41; 37-28-4 O/U) vs. Chicago Cubs (33-34; 36-29-2 O/U)
MLB: Monday, June 19, 2017 at 8:05pm EST
Line: Chicago -215/San Diego +199
The Chicago Cubs will host the San Diego Padres as the clubs open a three-game series Monday night from Wrigley Field. The Padres will send 33-year old left-hander Clayton Richard to the hill, and 33-year old left-hander Jon Lester will take the mound for the Cubs. The Cubs will be looking for retribution after the Padres swept them in San Diego late last month.
Richard Spins Gem in Win Over Reds
Clayton Richard will make his 15th start of the season, targeting his third win of the month. Richard was outstanding in his latest effort, limiting the Reds to only two runs in eight innings, notching his fifth win. The 6-foot-5 left-hander has tossed a few gems this season, however consistency has been an issue, resulting in a 4.30 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP to go with a 5-7 record in 88 innings logged. He features strong career stats against the Cubs, conceding only six runs in 21.1 innings to go with a 2-1 record. Jason Heyward is 1 for 11 against Richard, while Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 7, and Ben Zobrist is 1 for 4. Padres rookie Franchy Cordero is swinging a hot bat, belting three home runs to go with five RBI’s over his last five games, and is hitting .313 this month. The 22-year old centerfielder is currently sporting a .313 average with three homers and nine RBI’s in 19 games played on the season.
The Padres offense has been better as of late, however they are still averaging a Major League low 3.70 runs per game, and own a .228 team batting average. The San Diego pitching has also struggled, posting a 4.91 team ERA, placing them down at 26th in the Major Leagues.
Lester Silences Mets in Fourth Victory of Season
Jon Lester will get the call for the 15th time of the year, looking to improve his record to 5-4. Lester was outstanding in his latest start, limiting the Mets to only one run over seven strong innings, leading to his fourth win. The veteran left-hander is having a decent season, sporting a 3.89 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 83.1 innings pitched. He features strong career numbers against the Padres, allowing only eight runs in 24.1 innings to go with a 2-1 record. Yangervis Solarte is 0 for 11 against Lester, while Wil Myers is 2 for 10, and Erick Aybar is 10 for 26. Kyle Schwarber looks like he is slowly turning it around at the plate, belting four homers along with nine RBI’s this month. The 24-year old left fielder hit an abysmal .120 last month and is now owns a .172 average with 12 home runs and 28 RBI’s on the season. Schwarber is 1 for 12 with one RBI against the Padres this season.
The Cubs are currently averaging 4.72 runs per game, ranking them 13th in the Majors, and are hitting a weak .237 as a team. The Chicago pitching has been solid, featuring a 4.20 team ERA, positioning them 12th in the Majors.
The San Diego Padres are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games against a left-handed starter.
- 14-37 in their last 51 road games against a team with a losing record.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 9-1 in Lester’s last 10 home starts against a team with a losing record.
- 21-5 in Lester’s last 26 home starts.
- 6-0 in Lester’s last 6 Monday starts.
I am taking the Cubs on the run line (-1.5) to get more value. The Padres are awful against left-handed pitching, hitting a Major League-worst .215 with only 50 runs scored against lefties this season. Also, Lester features a stifling 2.65 ERA at Wrigley Field this season, so I can’t see the Padres doing a whole lot offensively. Furthermore, Richard owns a weak 4.97 career ERA at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs hit lefties well, so I expect the Cubs to have a strong night at the plate and take this one easily.