Less than a week ago, the Chicago Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. On Monday, the Padres will have their shot at redemption as they begin a three-game series with the Cubs at home. San Diego is the favorite in Monday’s game with a moneyline of -125, while Chicago’s moneyline is set at +105.
After dismantling the Padres last week, the Cubs quickly fell apart when they began a West Coast road trip against the San Francisco Giants. Chicago lost three in a row in San Francisco before winning on Sunday. As a result, the Cubs are now tied with the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central, with the Arizona Cardinals just 2.5 games back.
Meanwhile, the Padres were able to bounce back from their series with the Cubs by winning back-to-back games against the New York Mets. Alas, San Diego lost to the Mets on Saturday and Sunday, splitting a four-game home series with the NL East leaders. The Padres now sit two games behind the Giants in the NL West.
The Weather is Fine
San Diego will send rookie Ryan Weathers to the mound on Monday night. Just 21 years old, the lefty has impressed early in his big league career, posting a 2.06 ERS over seven starts and five relief appearances. The caveat is that Weathers has only gone four innings deep in three straight starts, although he’s allowed just three runs over those 12 innings.
Weathers will face a Chicago lineup that’s been solid and steady lately, scoring 4.4 runs per game over the last seven games. During that time, Patrick Wisdom has become an instant star for Chicago, hitting six home runs. The trio of Javier Baez, Joc Pederson, and Kris Bryant has combined for seven home runs over the last seven games, although Wisdom is the only player in Chicago’s lineup who has hit for a good average over the last week.
Call AA for Help
The Cubs will send Adbert Alzolay to the mound Monday night in San Diego. Alzolay is in the midst of a breakout season, pitching to a 3.62 ERA over 10 starts, making him Chicago’s best starting pitcher this season. He’s allowed two runs or less in six of his 10 starts this year and has surrendered just one run over his last 10 innings.
Last week, the Padres managed just one run on three hits over five innings against Alzolay. The San Diego lineup also managed just eight runs during the team’s four-game series with the Mets, so the Padres have been held in check lately. Nobody on the Padres has stood out much over the past week, although Fernando Tatis has tried to keep up his hot streak with a pair of home runs.
A Different Story
The Padres are too good to lose four in a row against the same team. The fact that San Diego’s hitters saw Alzolay last week should benefit the Padres, whereas this will be the first time the Cubs will see Weathers. It’s a slight edge, but it should be enough to push the Padres past the Cubs on Monday night.
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