The Arizona Diamondbacks (20-21, 24-17 RL, 16-23-2 O/U) take on the Chicago Cubs (15-23, 20-18 RL, 19-19-4 O/U) as the NL foes conclude a three-game series on Sunday afternoon. The D-Backs will give the nod to Merrill Kelly who took the loss in his latest effort. The Cubs reply with veteran Wade Miley. The D-Backs lead the season series 4-2.
Kelly Seeks Rebound After Worst Start of Season
Merrill Kelly will be on the hill for the ninth time of the season in the finale. Kelly was clobbered in his previous start, conceding a whopping eight runs in only 2.2 innings against the Dodgers, and was hit with the loss to dip to 3-2. Overall, the veteran right-hander is having an outstanding season, posting a 3.27 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP accompanied by a 3-2 record in 44 innings pitched. Kelly allowed six runs in 14 innings against the Cubs last season and has allowed nine runs in 17.2 career innings against Chicago.
Arizona has rebounded from a six-game losing streak including a sweep by the Dodgers by winning the first two games of this series at Wrigley. Arizona has been competitive all season and now features a .500 record on the road.
Daulton Varsho has been a bright spot at the plate, sporting a .292 average on the month. The 25-year-old center fielder has seven homers with 17 RBIs and a respectable .776 OPS on the season. Varsho has been productive against the Cubs this season, going 6 for 21 with three RBIs.
Arizona is only averaging 3.71 runs on the season, ranking them 23rd overall. They enter with a 3.91 team ERA, positioning them 19th in the big leagues.
Miley Collects First Win
The Cubs will have Wade Miley on the hill for the third time of the season. Miley has been solid upon return from injury. He conceded three runs in three innings against the Padres in his season debut earlier this month and was followed by tossing seven shutout innings against the Pirates last week, leading to the win. The veteran southpaw is still a quality pitcher. He posted a 3.37 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP with the Reds last season. Miley has limited Arizona to just one run in 8.2 career innings.
The Cubs had recently won four games in a row but have since lost three consecutive games. They won two of three against the Pirates before this series. Chicago has a few key injuries to the offense as Nico Hoerner is out of action along with David Bote.
Seiya Suzuki continues to reach base, recording at least one hit in all but three games this month. The 27-year-old rookie has fared well in his first Major League action after playing in Japan, driving in 19 runs with an .803 OPS. He is only 2 for 11 with zero RBIs against the Diamondbacks.
Chicago is posting an average of 4.09 runs, tabbing them 19th in the big leagues. The pitching has been solid, amassing a 3.92 team ERA, good for 22nd overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Diamondbacks continue to receive outstanding starting pitching and have won the first three games of this series. The Cubs haven't been taking advantage of the home field. They have been one of the worst home teams in the Majors this season, winning only six of 21 games at Wrigley Field.
Furthermore, Diamondbacks’ starter Merrill Kelly is having a stellar year. He has limited his opponent to two or fewer runs in five out of his eight starts. Two of those starts where he allowed more than two runs were against the talented Dodgers’ lineup. Also, Cubs’ starter Wade Miley is still getting back in game shape after making just two starts after injury.
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a strong play. The Diamondbacks aren’t scoring a ton of runs and rely on their starting pitching to win games. They have plated four or fewer runs in seven out of their last ten games.
In addition, the Cubs only managed to score a total of 10 runs in the three games at Arizona last week and Merrill Kelly will be difficult to solve. These are two of the lowest-scoring teams in the Majors and the under should cash. The under is also 4-1 in the last five meetings between these foes.