MLB Expert Predictions for Monday: Fade Cubs, Kyle Hendricks in San Diego?

MLB Expert Predictions for Monday: Fade Cubs, Kyle Hendricks in San Diego? article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kyle Hendricks

  • Our MLB staffs detail their favorite bets for Monday, September 9.

Sean Zerillo: Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres

Kyle Hendricks (9-9, 3.39 ERA) vs. Cal Quantrill (6-6, 4.57 ERA)

  • Cubs Moneyline: -140
  • Padres Moneyline: +130
  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

The Cubs are 29-23 since the All-Star break, but even before losing Javier Baez to a thumb fracture over the weekend their offense had struggled in the past two months – with a wRC+ of 95; 17th in MLB.

Baez had taken a step back this year (113 wRC+) from his dominant 2018 season (131 wRC+) when he finished second in the NL MVP race, but replacing his bat with that of Addison Russell (career 87 wRC+) is still a significant downgrade.

Cal Quantrill has pitched effectively for San Diego. Over his past eight starts, he has a 3.62 FIP (4.32 ERA, 4.75 xFIP), and I think the public will stay away from backing him tonight after allowing 16 runs combined in his past two outings.

Quantrill has a deep arsenal with above-average control of both his fastball (averages 94.8 mph) and changeup – and possesses batted ball data that is roughly league average:

Source: FanGraphs

He will go against another control artist who limits hard contact in Kyle Hendricks (96th percentile for exit velocity, 90th percentile for hard-hit rate) but I have the Padres’ fair odds closer to even money than +130 for Monday.

Their moneyline hasn’t gone above +130, after opening at +120, despite more than 75% of the cash backing the Cubs – indicating sharp action behind the Padres.

The PICK: San Diego Padres +130

John Ewing: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Merrill Kelly (10-13, 4.69 ERA) vs. Jacob deGrom (8-8, 2.76 ERA)

  • Diamondbacks Moneyline: +200
  • Mets Moneyline: -220
  • Over/Under: 7.5
  • First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

Home runs and scoring are up this season. As a result, from March to June it was profitable to blindly bet every over, returning a profit of $1,128 for a $100 bettor. However, since July a $100 over bettor would be down $5,210.

Oddsmakers have adjusted to the increased scoring but not in all games. In matchups featuring low totals it has still been profitable to blindly bet the over.

In games with totals of 7.5 or fewer runs the over has gone 145-115-10 (55.8%) this season including 13-6 since August.

Oddsmakers expect a low-scoring affair tonight with Jacob deGrom (2.76 ERA) on the mound. The Mets-Diamondbacks total is 7.5 runs. DeGrom is an ace but the Mets bullpen is lousy. New York relievers have a 5.18 ERA – 3rd worst in the majors.

The Mets and D-backs have also been in the top half of the league in home runs hit since the All-Star break.

A weak bullpen, power hitters and a low total make the over an appealing play.

The PICK: Over 7.5