Cubs vs Diamondbacks Pick Friday | MLB Odds, Predoctions Today (September 8)

Cubs vs Diamondbacks Pick Friday | MLB Odds, Predoctions Today (September 8) article feature image

Pictured: Zac Gallen. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks vs. Cubs Odds

Friday, Sep 8
2:20 p.m. ET
MLB Network
Diamondbacks Odds
-102o / -120u
Cubs Odds
-102o / -120u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Chicago Cubs are inching closer to first place in the National League Central and are set to host the Arizona Diamondbacks, another team vying for a NL Wild Card spot.

The Cubs will start Jameson Taillon, their weakest starter this season, on Friday. He looked like he was back on track after the All-Star break, but has since fallen apart.

Meanwhile the D'backs will throw Zac Gallen, their ace and Cy Young contender. Gallen is clearly the better starter in this game. Additionally, Arizona has better off righties and pitched similarly in relief to Chicago. With that being the case, Arizona has favorable odds on the moneyline.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Gallen has a 3.48 ERA against a 4.18 xERA this season, so his peripherals are probably dictating this line a bit. He has an Average Exit Velocity of 91.5 mph and a 45.9% Hard-Hit Rate. However, his strikeout rate is 25.9% against a 5.3% walk rate. His pitching run value is in the 98th percentile, which is obviously elite. After the All-Star Break, he's seen some regression with a 4.33 ERA over 60 1/3 innings. Still, despite a poor outing against the Baltimore Orioles on September 3, he has a 3.19 ERA in August.

The D'backs own a 107 wRC+ and a .769 OPS with a 9.5% walk rate and a 22.6% strikeout rate off righties over the past two weeks. They have six hitters with a xwOBA over .325 and two others above .300 off right-hander in that same timeframe, so the majority of their lineup is reliable.

Corbin Carroll has 24 home runs this year after this 417-foot shot.

— Alex Weiner (@alexjweiner) September 3, 2023

In relief, Arizona has a 4.36 xFIP in the past two weeks with a 21.6% strikeout rate and a 9.6% walk rate. That may not seem very strong, but Arizona has four pitchers with an xFIP under 4.00 in its bullpen.

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Chicago Cubs

Taillon has been incredibly inconsistent this season. He owns a 5.72 ERA against a 5.40 xERA, his Average Exit Velocity is 88.6 mph and his Hard-Hit Rate is 39.1%. His strikeout rate is 20.7% against a 6% walk rate. His first-half ERA was 6.15 and his second-half mark is 5.17 over 55 2/3 innings. That said, he's allowed at least four earned runs three of his past five starts, so facing a relatively hot Arizona squad doesn't bode well.

The Cubs have been about league average off of righties in the past two weeks. They have a 100 wRC+ and a .736 OPS with a 9.2% walk rate and a 20% strikeout rate. However, they only have two active hitters with an xwOBA above .325 off of righties since August 24 — a mark noticeably worse than Arizona.

The Cubs' bullpen has a 3.92 xFIP with a 26.8% strikeout rate and a 10.4% walk rate in that same timeframe. However, they only have three active relievers with an xFIP below 4.00. The bullpens are about equal, but if Gallen can pitch deeper into this game than Taillon, that's another advantage for Arizona.

Diamondbacks vs. Cubs

Betting Pick & Prediction

Arizona has both the better starting pitcher and the better lineup. As a result, there's no reason to bet Taillon and the Cubs, even if the game is in Chicago. Take the Arizona moneyline to -140 and watch the D'backs creep up the NL Wild Card race.
Pick: Arizona Moneyline | Play to -140

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