MLB Picks: San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs Predictions
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs Prediction & Picks - View Odds For The Game Here
First pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET
Probable pitchers: Dinelson Lamet (1-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. Adbert Alzolay (3-4, 3.81 ERA)
People, start taking close dibs on Alzolay.
The third-year right-hander is clearly impressing in his first full-time gig as a starter in the Cubs rotation. After getting some scrap starts and relief appearances the last two campaigns, Alzolay has already topped his pre-2021 career innings total this season alone, receiving the nod for nine starting assignments. Notably, he’s pitched his teammates into the sixth or deeper in all but one of them.
And the Venezuelan native is making the most of the work bestowed upon him. Alzolay’s 3.81 ERA might not drop many jaws but his 0.93 WHIP — which ranks just outside the top 10 among all Major League starters — should. The most glaring stat with Alzolay, however, has been his significantly reduced walk rate.
Prior to this season, Alzolay walked 15 percent of big-league hitters he faced, a number that wasn’t going to cut it at this level (or most). As part of his emergence, Alzolay has trimmed that number down nearly two-thirds to a mere 5.2 percent.
He’s also maintaining the strikeout marks always prevalent throughout his baseball journey, notching 9.24 K/9 thus far, so he hasn’t really lost any K’s to go with his improved command. That’s how good Alzolay’s stuff is, and in the process, he’s holding hitters to the Mendoza Line (.200).
Lamet, meanwhile, is still working his way back from injury — first a UCL strain that caused him to be shut down toward the end of last season (and playoffs), and of that wasn’t enough, he also had a stint on the injured list at the end of April with right forearm tightness. Fortunately, that ailment didn’t turn out to be severe at all.
This will be the seventh game (fifth start) for Lamet, after making five appearances (three starts) in May. While he’s still building back to full strength, having not yet accumulated more than three innings in any outing yet, grabbing him on the upswing still seems like a shrewd move.
Even if Lamet can’t go more than five frames — and that would be a best-case scenario — I still like him to get things started off right for at least the first handful of innings. Proceeding him is a very good bullpen, one in fact that is actually tops in baseball with a 2.36 ERA.
Before we get to that stingy unit of relievers, though, bask in the marvelous pitching of Lamet. He’s still looking like his old self in the meantime, holding a 2.57 ERA while stringing together 9.64 K/9. That latter number should only increase.
Something else to help our cause is that those famous Wrigley Field winds are slated to be blowing in a bit. Also considering that the two lineups today are collectively missing a handful of star players, pitching figures to reign supreme.
MLB Predictions & Leans - June 2
Twins-Orioles Over 9.5
Nationals-Braves Over 9.5
Rangers-Rockies Over 11
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “32-26-2,” +2.43 units
Yesterday’s Result: Angels-Giants Under 7 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit