This Sunday the (12-20) Chicago Cubs and the (18-16) Arizona Diamondbacks will play their final game of this three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 4:10 PM EST inside Chase Field. This is the first series between these two teams this regular season.
The Chicago Cubs are entering this series after taking two of three games from the San Diego Padres. The Cubs looked strong at the plate in these two wins but will need to tighten up on the defensive side of the field if they want to hang with the Diamondbacks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are entering this series after defeating the Miami Marlins. The Diamondbacks performed very well on the offensive side of the field in that series and would like to carry that momentum into this one. They also won game one of this series on Friday.
This game was published/written before last night’s results.
The Cubs Need a WinThe Chicago Cubs have not started this 2022 regular season how they would have liked, but they still have plenty of time to turn it around. They are currently in fourth place in the NL Central. On the offensive side of the field, the Cubs are currently scoring 3.97 runs per game and hitting .232. This is the 18th most amount of runs scored per game and the 18th highest overall team batting average. They need to start making better contact with the ball and reaching base safely if they want to become a better offensive team. They are also only averaging .72 home runs per game, which is 25th in MLB. They are realizing that they don't have as much power throughout their lineup as they thought. Chicago is also one of the more conservative base running teams in the league. They have only stolen 10 bases this season, which is 26th. They would benefit from moving their runners into scoring position earlier in the inning, as they are also struggling to hit when they have men on base. I would recommend watching for Willson Contreras at the plate in this one. He has been the Cubs' most consistent hitter this season, as he has a .286 batting average. He has been hitting the ball great as of late and I expect him to stay aggressive at the plate in this one.
On the defensive side of the field, the Cubs have also struggled. They are currently allowing 4.34 runs per game and have a combined team WHIP rating of 1.33. This ranks them 20th in runs allowed per game and 24th in team WHIP rating. They are letting too many men reach base safely and they are having a tough time getting out of these jams. The Cubs would also look much better if they could get some support from their starting pitching. They have only recorded four quality starts this season, which is the 28th most amount of quality starts recorded. They are having to rely on their bullpen more than they would like and opposing teams are proving that they can hit against anyone on their roster. The Cubs have also committed 18 fielding errors this season, which is the 16th least amount of mistakes made in the field. They are a solid fielding team, but their pitching has been too much of a problem for them to win these games. According to MLB.com, the Cubs are undecided on who will start this game. They will most likely go to their bullpen very early in this game, as their main starters are resting. I would recommend checking ESPN or Covers.com before placing your bet.
The Diamondbacks are Turing HeadsThe Arizona Diamondbacks have started this season slower than they would have liked, but they have been turning it around over the past few weeks. They are currently in fourth place in the NL West. On the offensive side of the field, the Diamondbacks are scoring 3.59 runs per game and hitting .204 as a team. This is the 25th most amount of runs scored per game and the 29th highest overall team batting average. They will need to start making better contact with the ball if they are expecting to win these games. Arizona has also averaged 1.03 home runs this season, which is the ninth-highest average in the MLB. They are realizing that they have more power throughout their lineup than they originally thought. The middle of their order has also shown that they can drive in runs, as creating base runners is their biggest issue. I would also expect the Diamondbacks to stay fairly conservative on the base paths. They have only stolen 16 bases this season, which is the 18th most in the league. They can't risk losing any of their base runners, as they aren't reaching base safely enough to try and steal one. I would recommend watching Christian Walker at the plate in this game. He is leading the team with six home runs, as he has shown that he can smoke the ball out of the park. I expect him to stay aggressive at the plate in this one, as his team will desperately need the hits that he can provide.
On the defensive side of the field, the Diamondbacks are currently allowing 4.00 runs per game and have a combined team WHIP rating of 1.21. This is the 13th least amount of runs surrendered each game and the 12th lowest team WHIP rating. They need to do a better job of keeping their opponents off the base paths if they want to have a chance in this game. They also need more production from their starting pitching rotation. They have only recorded nine quality starts this season, which is the 15th least in the MLB. Their starting pitching has been either hit or miss, but they will need them to step up in this game. They don't want to have to rely on their bullpen, as they have failed them a few times this season. They also need to cut down on their fielding errors, as they have already committed 26 this season. This is the third most errors committed in MLB and the Diamondbacks can't continue to believe they are going to win if they are gifting their opponents free bases. They aren't a strong enough offensive team to allow their opponents to score any easy runs. According to MLB.com, Humberto Castellanos will be getting the start on the mound in this game. He has started this season (2-1) with a 4.32 ERA. He also has a 1.20 WHIP rating, which he needs to bring down. He can't allow his opponents to reach base consistently throughout this game if he wants to keep them off the board. He has pitched in 25.0 innings this season and already recorded 16 strikeouts. I am expecting him to be aggressive in this game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Chicago Cubs are currently banged up and struggling on the offensive side of the field. They won't be able to score enough runs on the offensive side of the field to cover the run line spread against the Diamondbacks. Arizona is currently allowing the 13th least amount of runs per game and has allowed the 12th lowest overall team WHIP rating. The Cubs have also struggled on the offensive side of the field, as they are only scoring the 18th most runs per game and have the 18th highest team batting average. Arizona has shown over the past few weeks that they can shut this Chicago offense down and they will have enough success in this game to cover the run line spread (-1.5). Chicago has also struggled on the defensive side of the field, as they will allow the Diamondbacks to score consistently throughout this game. Both of these offenses are rolling right now, but I see the Diamondbacks having more success at the plate.
Pick the Arizona Diamondbacks and lay the run line spread (-1.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
I see this being a low-scoring game, but the Diamondbacks will come out on top. Arizona will have success on the offensive side of the field in this game, but the Cubs won't score enough runs too push this total over (8.5). Both of these offenses have struggled at different points in this season and they won't be able to combine for more than (8.5) runs in this game. The Cubs have struggled at the plate over the past few weeks, as they are only averaging 3.97 runs per game. They are also only hitting .232, which is the 18th highest team batting average in the league. Arizona is holding their opponents to the 13th least amount of runs per game and they have the 12th lowest overall WHIP rating. Neither of these teams will explode on the offensive side of the field and this total will stay below (8.5). The Diamondbacks are also only scoring 3.64 runs per game. This will be a defensive battle and both teams will be doing everything they can to score the last few runs in this game.
Take the under (8.5) and expect the Cubs to struggle on the offensive side of the field.