Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant follows the flight of his grand slam in the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
- See the best bets in baseball on Monday, June 7, 2021
- Two rookies meet on the mound in San Diego when the Cubs visit the Padres
- Will arm talent override inexperience?
Mondays are usually the lightest day of the week for baseball, and June 7 is taking the schedule to new lows. There are just three games on tap today and, as a result, just one best bet for the day.
Pick #1: Cubs vs Padres – Under 7.5
Odds as of June 6 at DraftKings.
This isn’t exactly a pitchers’ duel between the Chicago Cubs (33-26) and San Diego Padres (36-25), though it might be a couple years from now, as both teams are sending promising rookies to hill.
Adbert Alzolay (3.62 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) has been solid if not spectacular for the North Siders. He’s pitched at least five innings in all but one of his ten starts, and he’s only given up more than three runs once, and that came in his season debut.
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Fellow rookie Ryan Weathers (2.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) has astonishingly good numbers on the surface, but they’re a bit deceiving. He has functioned as something between an opener and a starter, pitching more than four innings just twice in 12 appearances.
There are three reasons I like the under here, despite the inexperience on the mound. The first is that Alzolay dominated the Padres less than a week ago. He pitched five shutout innings (three hits, one walk, seven strikeouts) en route to a 6-1 win.
Weathers didn’t fare so well in his first outing against the Cubs (four runs, seven hits, one walk in five innings) but that was by far his worst start, and he won’t be asked to pitch deep.
The second is the dominant bullpens both teams bring into Petco Park. The Padres and Cubs are second and fifth in league, respectively, in bullpen xFIP, per FanGraphs. If you like traditional stats better than advanced stats, they are first and second in bullpen ERA.
The third is Petco Park, itself, which always ranks near the bottom of the league in runs scored with its pitcher-friendly dimensions. Only Marlins Park is averaging fewer runs per game this season.
Sascha was a hockey player in his youth, a lawyer in his capricious mid-20s, and has now been an assigning editor, writer, and lead oddsmaker for SBD for over five years. He covers everything you can possibly put odds on, but specializes in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball.