BetsByBob Sunday MLB Picks: Cubs to stay hot against the skidding Cardinals.
Sunday baseball. A ton of day games, and one good division rivalry to close out the evening. Today also marks the first day that umpires will be able to check on pitchers for potentially using foreign substances to help their spin rates. We have no idea if all pitchers will just stop, if some will just not care, or if the umpires even check and this was all just a big scare tactic from the league office to try and avoid doing any major crackdown. Regardless, it will be interesting to watch this one develop, as it could have some major implications. In the sake of time, let’s dive right in.
St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) at Chicago Cubs (Zach Davies)
Play: Cubs (-125)
*Playable to (-135)
The St. Louis Cardinals wrap up their series on Sunday Night Baseball against division rival, the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals are in a downslide, and can’t seem to get out of it. They have gone 2-8 in their past 10, and starting pitching has been the root of all their problems. On the other side, the Cubs have been ravaged by injuries, and it has only seems to light a fire under them. The likes of Patrick Wisdom and Sergio Alcantara have filled in wonderfully, and the bullpen has been lights out for over a month now.
Trying to right the ship for the Cardinals will be right hander, Carlos Martinez. Martinez has an ERA of 6.21 and a FIP of 4.24. His strikeout rate is down, as well as his ground ball rate. I can’t help but think something might be wrong. He has bounced in and out of the rotation the past four years, and his stuff just doesn’t seem to be what it was. The hard hit percentage is higher than it’s ever been, and all these numbers are bad while he has still been managing to limit the long ball, only giving up 0.6 HR/9IP. This Cubs lineup has seen Martinez a ton, and should have the familiarity to get some runs off him today and have their offense stay hot.
Taking the mound for the home team will be soft-tossing right hander, Zach Davies. Davies has an ERA of 4.45 and a FIP right in line of 4.52, but has pitched much better as of late. Most of the damage came early in the season, and since May 1st, he has only allowed more than 2 earned runs in 2 starts. The strikeout rate for the season is down, but he isn’t an overpowering guy. He gets plenty of balls on the ground and still carries a high BABIP of .308. Davies also limits the long ball, and just needs to get through 5 before turning the ball over to the bullpen who we can expect to keep shutting opposing hitters down. Wrigley should be jumping tonight.
San Diego Padres (Chris Paddack) @ New York Mets (Joey Lucchesi)
Play: Padres (-121)
*Playable to (-135)
The San Diego Padres are wrapping up their 3-game set against the New York Mets today before heading to Colorado after the game. The Padres have dropped four straight, while the Mets have won their last 3. Things are going to be shaken up all over the league, so it could be a weird day for everyone. The Padres are looking to turn things around and break out of their recent skid, and look to do so behind Chris Paddack. Paddack has an ERA of 4.27 and a FIP of 4.04. He has done a good job mixing in his curveball recently to give him another pitch in a rather shallow arsenal. The strikeout numbers look good, and doesn’t give up many free passes or hard contact. He should be able to give the Padres some solid innings before turning things over to one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Getting the nod for the Mets will be former Padre, Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi comes into this one with an ERA of 5.79 and a FIP if 3.47, so there should be some better fortune in his future. However, his ground ball rate is down from his career averages, and the SO/BB rate has also gone up. The familiarity of facing his old squad might bite him here too, as they know exactly what arsenal he brings to the table. The Padres are too talented of a roster to keep hitting the ball hard and not getting the positive results. I like their chances to continue making some hard contact today, and will back them at the short price in hopes of some better fortune.