Thursday’s baseball betting card includes the beginning of a long series that is a quick rematch from a series just a weekend ago as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs collide on the Windy City’s North Side.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Chicago Cubs
Thursday, May 19, 2022 – 07:40 PM EDT at Wrigley Field
Who Is Pitching in This Matchup?
We were told by the preseason MLB future odds not to expect much from the Arizona Diamondbacks or Chicago Cubs this season, and the two sides are so far living up to those expectations as they get set to begin a long weekend series under the lights at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
A late change in probable pitchers for the lid-lifter slowed overnight action.
Arizona is sticking with its original plan to send Zac Gallen (2-0, 1.05) to the mound while Chicago turns to Marcus Stroman (1-3, 5.13) as its first line of defense, and the Diamondbacks are small chalk on the moneyline with the total yet to be released.
Is the Diamondbacks' Offense Strong?
What started off fairly well for Torey Lovullo and the Diamondbacks has taken a turn for the worse.
Arizona has dropped six games in a row, the first two of those defeats at home to these Cubs last weekend and continuing this week in Los Angeles where the Diamondbacks were broomed in a 4-game set and outscored 29-16.
While the pitching staff is not without its problems, the offense has been the biggest issue in Arizona.
The Diamondbacks rank next-to-last in the National League averaging 3.59 runs per game and dead last in batting average (.207), those shortcomings not being helped by Ketel Marte’s hand injury that has him questionable for Thursday.
Gallen Making Second-Straight Start vs. Cubs
This will be Gallen’s second consecutive start against Chicago.
He took the mound last Saturday at Chase Field and pitched well in a no-decision, working six innings of 1-run baseball before his bullpen made Gallen’s effort all for naught in what was eventually a 4-2 Arizona loss after closing as at the betting odds of -155 chalk at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review).
The Diamondbacks had won Gallen’s three previous starts, and stand 4-2 behind him on the season, good enough to put more than three units into the pockets of anyone following him on the MLB odds.
Gallen’s only career start at Wrigley Field came a year ago and went into the loss column (4 IP, 7 ER).
Is Stroman Recovered From COVID?
This will be Stroman’s first start since May 1. The right-hander was scratched due to testing positive for the flu just before taking the mound on May 8 against the Dodgers and has been slowly building his stamina back up with a few bullpen sessions, the latest two days ago.
Stroman had a couple of poor outings earlier this season to account for the bulk of his bloated 5.13 ERA, one of them taking place in the thin air of Coors Field and another beating coming against the Rays at Wrigley in a game that was eventually shortened to only six innings due to rain.
It has been a mixed bag for Stroman when facing Arizona. He earned a no-decision last season in Phoenix where he allowed three runs in six innings, all of the damage coming on a Pavin Smith home run, and is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA lifetime against the Diamondbacks in four assignments.
Last Five Matchups Cash ‘Under’ Tickets
When they got together in Phoenix last weekend, Chicago took two of the three matchups from the Diamondbacks in what was a low-scoring series with all three matchups falling short of the numbers at top-rated sportsbooks.
The wins allowed the Cubs to cut into Arizona’s lead in the rivalry that now stands at 88-81.
Last July saw the two sides also play a couple of quick series against one another, with the Cubs taking two of three in each set while ‘under’ bettors also returned to the pay window twice.
Eight of the last 10 meetings in Chicago were ‘under’ winners.
Cloudy skies and muggy temps in the low-80s at game time are what the weatherman says.
The forecast also calls for a 12-15 mph blow from the south that could give flyballs a little extra distance heading over the left-field fence and onto Waveland Avenue.
That breeze blowing out might normally lead to a MLB pick on the ‘over’, but these are two of the most impotent lineups in the National League, so the ‘under’ is worth a look when the numbers come out.
Instead, I’ll take a flyer on the home side as small ‘dogs’.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.