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Cubs vs. Diamondbacks predictions and picks for Saturday's game in Arizona

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Predictions: MLB Over/ Under Picks

Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks

Over/Under: 9

First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET

Probable pitchers: Adbert Alzolay (4-9, 4.66 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (1-4, 4.17 ERA)

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks

Hmm, the linesmakers sure have tipped their hand in regards to what they feel of today’s pitching matchup in the Desert.

And it’s obviously very highly. After all, how else do you explain this particular clash drawing the same exact total of 9 — and even lower at 8.5 in some other spots! — than last night’s series opener featuring Kyle Hendricks and Madison Bumgarner?

I’ve been on record for years of saying how much I like both these hurlers, really since they each were first getting started, but them getting the same respect as two more cemented and proven vets is telling.

Of course, this thinking makes perfectly logical sense. Gallen, remember, shattered the record for most consecutive starts yielding three runs or fewer to begin a career (24), and while he hasn’t maintained that high level of success he enjoyed in his first two seasons, injuries have largely been the main culprit for that.

Now that he’s healthy again, we can get Gallen back on the upswing. Those worried about his latest lengthy stint on the sidelines (this is his first start since July 3) need not worry about the former Tar Heel getting right back into the swing of things. He’s already made two returns from the injured list this year and in his still-young career, his best work generally has come when he’s coming off extra rest.

Gallen’s made eight starts on six or more days of rest, producing a nifty 2.89 ERA while punching out 12.1 K/9. That’s about two more strikeouts per nine innings than when he’s following four or five days’ rest.

Alzolay is the other underrated starter in this affair getting some love from the books. Like me, they see past the 4-9 record that he is currently saddled with.

The 26-year-old Cubs right-hander sports a much more respectable 3.74 xFIP that easily contests from his 4.66 ERA on the campaign, indicating he’s actually been considerably better than that latter mark.

Really the only problem for Alzolay is that he’s been been prone to the long ball, evidenced by the 2.09 HR/9 he’s allowing.

However, in this assignment, Alzolay will be squaring off with one of the lighter-hitting clubs in baseball, not to mention one that won’t be at normal strength, being a daytime contest after a night game. Above all, the D-Backs have slugged less homers than all but one Major League team. That’s the path to Alzolay clocking out in successful fashion.

MLB Picks: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Predictions

Pick: UNDER 9 (-115)

MLB Leans

Twins-Tigers Under 7 (Game 2)

Dodgers-Rockies Under 11.5

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “51-42-6,” +3.47 units

Yesterday’s Results: Giants-Cardinals Under 7.5 (No Action), Mariners-Angels Under 9 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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