The Arizona Diamondbacks come to Chicago to take on the Cubs on Monday.
If the season ended today, one team would be in the playoffs and one team would be on the outside looking out. The Arizona Diamondbacks currently sit in 2ndplace in the NL West, 1.5 games behind the LA Dodgers and 1 game out from a wild card spot. The Cubs, on the other hand, are starting to widen the gap between them and the rest of the field in the NL Central as they sit 3.5 games up in 1stplace. The two teams will square off on Monday as the Diamondbacks (54-46) travel to Wrigley Field to take on the Cubs (58-40). The Diamondbacks will send lefty Patrick Corbin (6-4, 3.24 ERA) to the mound to square off against the Cubs’ Luke Farrell (3-3, 3.86 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 pm ET.
The moneyline for Monday’s game is set at the Arizona Diamondbacks -110 andthe Chicago Cubs -110. The over/under for runs scored is set at 8.5.
The Diamondbacks are right there in the thick of a playoff race, but still have work to do in both the divisional and wild card races. After dropping two of three to the Colorado Rockies over the weekend, they are looking to get back on track. To do so, they will send lefty Patrick Corbin to the mound in game one against the Cubs. On the season, Corbin is 6-4 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and opponents are only hitting .209 against him. In 122.1 innings, he has 149 strikeouts and 35 walks. Despite the good numbers, he did get roughed up a little in his last outing, which was a 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. In that game, he went 6 innings, giving up 4 earned runs and striking out only 3. He will look to get back on track against the Cubs.
Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt has been showing, once again, why he is a perennial All-Star. Despite a really slow start to the season, he is now hitting .274/.381/.519 with a .900 OPS. He also has 21 home runs, 52 runs batted in and has scored 62 runs.
Against the Cubs righty Luke Farrell, there is not too much in the way of history with many of the Diamondback hitters. Given that he mostly pitches out of relief, only Jon Jay and Alex Avila have at bats against him, with neither one having a hit.
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At 12-5, the Cubs are having themselves a really nice July. In fact it has seen them leapfrog the Brewers from second place to now 3.5 games up in first. Due to a doubleheader on Saturday, though, the Cubs will look to Luke Farrell to make only his second start of the season in Monday’s series opener. While pitching mostly out of the bullpen, Farrell is 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and opponents are hitting .222 against him. In 28 innings pitched, he has 37 strikeouts, 14 walks and has allowed 6 home runs. He has been very valuable for the Cubs, though, as he has given them useful innings out of the bullpen while also making the occasional spot start.
On the offensive side, there are a few Cubs players who have had success against Arizona’s Patrick Corbin. Addison Russell, Ian Happ, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are all hitting .375 or higher, albeit in limited at bats. Additionally, Baez, Happ and Anthony Rizzo have all gotten to him for home runs in their career. As a whole, though, Javier Baez has been one of the hottest hitters on the Cubs as of late. In the last 30 days, he is hitting .353/.362/.618 with a .980 OPS. In that time, he also has 5 home runs, 25 runs batted in, 21 runs scored and has even chipped in 6 stolen bases. Look for him to possibly make some noise on Monday.
I think this could be a game where both teams are able to put up some runs. Corbin, while solid all year, has been hit hard at times by the Cubs and Farrell, while also solid, will be making only his second start, meaning you don’t know how long he will be able to go. Ultimately, though, I have to go with who has been the hotter team lately and that is undoubtedly the Cubs. I think it will be a close matchup, but I am taking the Cubs -110.