Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#901 Arizona Diamondbacks 7 vs.
#902 Chicago Cubs -160
Friday, April 19, 2019 at 2:20pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda



#901 Arizona
#902 Chicago


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Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs

When and Where: Friday, April 19, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill., 2:20 p.m. EDT.

Having righted themselves in South Beach, the Chicago Cubs look to further their momentum starting with Friday night’s series opener versus the surging Arizona Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks riding high after sweep of Braves

Arizona (10-9) has followed up a four-game losing streak with four straight wins, capped by Wednesday’s 4-1 victory at Atlanta to finish off a three-game sweep of the Braves. Luke Weaver struck out nine over five shutout innings and Christian Walker‘s seventh-inning two-run homer provided an extra cushion for the bullpen.

Walker has been dynamite hitting in the late innings, going 13 for 21 (.619) with six homers in at-bats in the seventh inning or later. The first baseman is batting .300 overall and has gone 9 for 17 with three homers and two doubles during Arizona’s winning streak.

“… I just tried to re-start and check back into the game,” Walker told The Associated Press, referring to his three strikeouts against Braves starter Mike Soroka. “I kept telling myself I’m going to help the team today, one way or the other.”

Diamondbacks rookie Merrill Kelly (1-1, 3.79 ERA) would not mind getting some of Walker’s power earlier as he takes the ball for the series opener. The 30-year-old had his first non-quality start last time out, giving up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings and leaving without a decision before Arizona lost 5-4 to San Diego on Saturday.

Kelly, who has given up a homer in each of his first three starts, won his only road start — allowing three runs and five hits in six innings of a 10-3 victory at San Diego on April 1.

Hendricks to attempt to extend Cubs’ shutout streak

The Cubs (8-9) were idle Thursday after sweeping a three-game set at Miami earlier in the week. They won their last two games by shutout and carry a 23-inning scoreless streak into this game, starting with the fifth inning of their 7-2 victory Monday night.

Javy Baez homered for the second straight game, and the runner-up in the 2018 NL MVP race is 11 for 18 with two homers, four doubles, and six RBIs in his last four games, spiking his average to .324.

“I’m seeing the ball well,” said Baez, who went 6 for 20 with two homers versus the Diamondbacks last year, to the Chicago Tribune. “No matter where it is. Hopefully when we go home I can keep the same approach.”

Kyle Hendricks (0-3, 5.40) tries to end his early-season funk and also get some run support in a bid for his first win of the season. The right-hander has made small steps of progress in each start and allowed three runs and six hits in five innings of a 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

Hendricks, who has been backed with only two runs of support in his three outings, is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in four career starts versus Arizona, but both wins came in the southwest. He is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA at Wrigley against the Diamondbacks, yielding three runs in 10 innings, but also has been backed with a solitary run in those games.

Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar is 3 for 7 with a pair of doubles versus Hendricks.

The Cubs have not recorded three consecutive shutouts since July 21-24, 1992.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Though it is still early in the season, this series may offer some clues about the staying power of the Cubs. Their rotation right now is humming, posting a 1.13 ERA in the last six games, and Hendricks has accounted for two of the five earned runs given up in that span. The hedge is he delivers here, and while it may not be a shutout, he should be able to outpitch Kelly in the series opener.

Prediction: Cubs -170

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Though the number came in surprisingly low, there is enough to believe in both pitchers that they can deliver a low-scoring game. The expectation is for Hendricks to pitch well, and with neither club providing much run support for their respective starters, the under is the smarter play.

Prediction: UNDER 7 runs (-115)

Full-Game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:


With the wind blowing in at Wrigley this afternoon, there is a strong possibility of a low-scoring game, and again, in keeping confidence with Hendricks and Kelly, the under is the play here.

Prediction: UNDER 23.5 runs+hits+errors (-115)

First Five Innings Side Pick

Insiders Status:


This is a toss-up pick, but with the Cubs more patient at the plate and showing an ability to draw walks, the small-ball factor with the wind blowing in favors the home team to grab a lead after five innings.

Prediction: Cubs -0.5 runs (-120)

First Five Innings Total Bet

Insiders Status:


The wind is a factor here since it can knock down everything except for the hardest-hit balls at Wrigley, but there is also confidence in Hendricks and Kelly getting the job done.

Prediction: UNDER 3.5 runs (-115)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

Insiders Status:


While the pick for the overall game and first five innings is under, a first-inning run is worth a flyer considering Kelly was reached for a pair of runs in the opening frame in his last start and Hendricks gave up six first-inning runs in his first two starts.

Prediction: YES to 1st-inning run (+150)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.