Some National League action will be on tap for this Friday as the Chicago Cubs take on the San Diego Padres in Southern California. Join us for our MLB odds series where our Cubs-Padres prediction and pick will be made.
Most recently, it was the Chicago Cubs that failed to sweep the AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday in a 4-3 defeat. Nevertheless, it was the first series win for the Cubs since taking two of three games against the New York Mets a couple of weeks back. Getting the start for the opening game of this series will be Jameson Taillon who is struggled mightily to an 0-3 start to go along with a 8.04 ERA.
On the other side of things, the Padres will send out the former longtime Cardinal in Michael Wacha will attempt to baffle the Cubs after he tossed seven innings and only allowed two runs on five hits in an extra-inning loss to the New York Yankees. Altogether, it has been a massive disappointment beginning of the season for a Padres squad with hefty expectations during the offseason. As it stands, San Diego stands 7.5 games out of the first-place lead behind the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Here are the Cubs-Padres MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Cubs-Padres Odds
Chicago Cubs: +1.5 (-138)
San Diego Padres: -1.5 (+115)
Over: 8.5 (-115)
Under: 8.5 (-105)
How To Watch Cubs vs. Padres
TV: Bally Sports San Diego/Marquee Sports Network
Time: 9:40 ET/6:40PT
*Watch MLB games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Cubs Could Cover The Spread
In order for the Cubs to string together a solid outing en route to covering the spread on the road at Petco Park, Chicago will need to make it a priority to regain their familiarity with Michael Wacha from the opening pitch of Friday night's duel. After spending seven seasons in St. Louis, Chicago became quite accustomed with Wacha and what he likes to do on the mound. While a decent handful of Cubbies that squared off with Wacha all those years ago are no longer on the roster, there is no question that Chicago will use all of those matchups with the now Padres twirler to their advantage.
Although the Cubs have scored only the 20th-most runs in all of baseball, they are a stingy bunch that often acts out as pests against opposing pitching. In fact, Chicago has the fifth-best on-base percentage at .333 and are also slashing an above-average .254 at the dish. Alas, the Cubs are led by the phenomenal third-baseman in Patrick Wisdom. After hitting a pair of home runs on May 28th against the Reds, Wisdom has gone 0-9 since and could be due for a breakout game. Without a doubt, Wisdom is the prototypical modern-day slugger that hits for a low average but knows how to wrack in the long balls and RBIs. Don't be surprised if Wisdom goes yard once again en route to helping his Cubbies cover the spread in impressive fashion.
Why The Padres Could Cover The Spread
If there is anything that the Padres have mightily struggled with at this point of the season, it has to be their failure to capitalize with runners in scoring position more often than not. Believe it or not, but San Diego ranks a mind-blowing dead-last in RISP opportunities with a measly .200 batting average in these instances. When these two squads battled it out for the first this year back in April, this problem ended up being a thorn in the side of the Padres as they went a combined 3-24 with RISP. Without a doubt, San Diego must capitalize on the chances that the Cubs give them. Clearly, Chicago has been prone to making mistakes, so it will be all about whether or not San Diego makes them pay for such errors.
Not to mention, but the Padres' offense is being handed a silver platter with Jameson Taillon on the mound. At first glance, Taillon has been downright awful this far in 2023, and despite the Padres' sluggish numbers at the plate, they cannot afford to have an off-night with the bats against a scuffling hurler like Taillon.
Luckily, San Diego is also 3-0 whenever Michael Wacha starts as the 31-year-old righty posted a 0.84 ERA in his trio of starts during the month of May. With how inconsistent the Padres have been at the dish, then riding the right arm of Wacha may be the go-to move.
Final Cubs-Padres Prediction & Pick
It is quite evident that both of these squads are in desperate need of a win, and it wouldn't be a shock to see each side to fight tooth and nail to get this one into the win column. However, with how Taillon has been pitching this season, it's probably smart to bet on the Padres to overwhelm the Cubs at home.
Final Cubs-Padres Prediction & Pick: Padres -1.5 (+115)