Chicago Cubs (59-54, 52-56) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (64-50, 51-57 O/U)
When and Where: Friday, Aug. 11, Chase Field, Phoenix, Az., 9:40pmET
Line: Chicago Cubs +110/Arizona -120
The Chicago Cubs have lost six of their last eight games and now lead St. Louis in the NL Central by just one game. They’ll face an Arizona team attempting to climb over Colorado for the first wild card spot. The Cubs send veteran right-hander John Lackey (9-9, 4.81 ERA) against right-hander Taijuan Walker (6-5, 3.60 ERA).
Maybe some rest will help
The Chicago Cubs received a much-needed day off on Thursday after losing two straight games. They lost at San Francisco, 3-1 on Wednesday and scored just nine runs in their three game series. The offense hasn’t been the only issues as the Nationals put up 17 runs in a series where they dropped two of three. They started this slump at home against Arizona, losing two of three, again allowing 17 runs in the series.
Lackey is 38 years old but he is still going strong. Since the All-Star break, Lackey is 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts. That’s the first time Lackey has won four straight starts since 2011 when he pitched for Boston. In five career starts against Arizona, Lackey is 4-0 with a 2.76 ERA.
D-Backs fall to Dodgers
Losing two of three at home to the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers is not embarrassing. But that was coming off losing two of three against a bad San Francisco team on the road. Arizona is not playing their best baseball but they are still just one game behind Colorado for the first wild card spot. On Thursday, they fell 8-6 to the Dodgers, despite J.D. Martinez belting his seventh homer in 18 games for the Diamondbacks.
Walker allowed just three runs over six innings in his last outing against San Francisco, but received a no-decision. He’s now winless in his last seven starts, despite giving up three earned runs or less in six of his seven outings. His last win took place on June 21 against Colorado. At home, Walker has posted a 4.14 ERA in eight starts and has a 3.11 ERA mark on the road.
Chicago Cubs are:
- 5-0 in Lackey’s last 5 starts.
- 17-6 last 23 after a loss.
- 0-5 in Walker’s last 5 starts.
- 1-4 last 5 overall.
With St. Louis climbing back in the race, the Cubs need to start winning again. Lackey is a clutch pitcher, who has pitched great since the All-Star break, while Walker has had his struggles at home.