Diamondbacks vs. Cubs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take the D-backs in Wrigley Matinee (Friday, May 20)

Diamondbacks vs. Cubs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take the D-backs in Wrigley Matinee (Friday, May 20) article feature image

Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Ketel Marte (4) of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

  • The Diamondbacks and Cubs face off in a matinee game Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
  • Neither Humberto Castellanos or Kyle Hendricks are among the league's best pitchers, but their numbers show which side has the edge.
  • MLB betting analyst D.J. James breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet for Friday afternoon's game below.

Diamondbacks vs. Cubs Odds

Diamondbacks Odds+114
Cubs Odds-134
Time2:20 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Kyle Hendricks and the Chicago Cubs will host Humberto Castellanos and the Arizona Diamondbacks in a Friday matinee game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Shockingly, Castellanos has been the better pitcher between these two. He holds a 4.15 ERA against a 3.87 xERA, so he has been a tad unlucky, while Hendricks has carried his 2021 over into the current season with a 4.03 ERA and a 4.88 xERA. Hendricks has been lucky, so expect further regression in his coming starts. In the month of May, the Cubs have been the 27th-worst hitting team against right-handed pitching with a 74 wRC+, while the D-backs have posted a 104 wRC+. This should be enough of an edge to take the D-Backs as underdogs on the moneyline.

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Arizona Diamondbacks: Offense Should Score Against Hendricks

Hendricks is no longer the sharp, Greg Maddux-esque (loosely) pitcher he used to be. He may not give up much hard contact (59th percentile in Exit Velocity), but in every other metric he has struggled greatly. He only strikes out 17% of hitters and although he is not walking many, his Hard Hit Rate is over 40%.

The D-Backs are missing Cooper Hummel, who owns a .338 xwOBA off of righties, but they still have six others over the .330 mark on the season, meaning they should be able to handle Hendricks. In May alone, Arizona has seven batters with a wRC+ over 100.

The Cubs' bullpen has been extremely efficient this season with a collective 2.41 ERA. In May the Chicago relievers posted a 3.29 xFIP. However, the Cubs do have some pitchers who have struggled. Keegan Thompson is not nearly as sharp as he was in the month of April. Rowan Wick and Mychel Givens have been getting a bit lucky, too. Chicago can be shaky in spots, but the majority of the Diamondbacks' runs should still come when Hendricks is on the bump.

Chicago Cubs: Offense May Struggle Against Castellanos

As stated above, Castellanos has been a little better than Hendricks this season, peripherally. Castellanos' Hard Hit Rate is slightly above average at 37.5% and his Barrel Percentage is only 5.3%, compared to Hendricks’ 8%.

On the hitting side, the Cubs have had trouble with righties. Multiple hitters are out of the lineup now, including Jason Heyward, Michael Hermosillo, Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner and Clint Frazier. Of the regulars, only Ian Happ and Willson Contreras hold a xwOBA of .330+ off of right-handers in May. This is atrocious and further should enforce that Castellanos will mow down hitters at the bottom of this Cubs' lineup. With the padding provided by the Arizona offense off of Hendricks, the D-backs' pitching should have enough to get by with a win.

Luke Weaver and Kyle Nelson are still on the Injured List for the D-Backs, but Arizona has other relief options to come in after Castellanos. Caleb Smith and Joe Mantiply have been exceptional with a 0.93 ERA and 1.35 ERA, respectively. Ian Kennedy and Keynan Middleton has been serviceable as well. This should be enough to get the job done and close the door on a Cubs home comeback.

Diamondbacks-Cubs Pick

Arizona has shown it can hit righties this month — the Cubs have not. Even with Kyle Hendricks at the helm, this is not the Hendricks of old. He will likely get shelled, which should tax the Cubs at the beginning of the series. Take the Diamondbacks because Castellanos should have a solid performance against two solid hitters and seven slumping hitters in the Cubs' lineup. Play the moneyline from +120 to -105. It will be a sunny and warm day on the north side of Chicago and the Arizona lineup should be ready for it.

Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks +114 | play to -105

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