Cubs vs Padres Predictions, Picks, Odds: Chicago Pulls Out Road Win as Underdog

Chicago will look to kick the Padres while they're down and pick up a win as the underdog. Thankfully for the Cubbies, they'll go against Yu Darvish who hasn't been striking out hitters at a rate we're used to, and our MLB picks think he'll get rocked.

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2023 2:42 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Drew Smyly Chicago Cubs MLB
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The San Diego Padres are slumping in a bad way, and after a loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday, they're in danger of dropping a second series in the last week. With their man, Yu Darvish, on the hill is there hope here for the home team, or will the 36-year-old continue to struggle with walking opponents?

According to MLB odds San Diego is expected to pull out the win, but the Cubbies may hold some extra good value tonight.

Let me break it all down for you in my Cubs vs. Padres MLB picks for Saturday, June 3.

Cubs vs Padres odds

Cubs vs Padres predictions

As is always the case with Yu Darvish, if he’s striking guys out he’s generally putting himself and his team in a great position to win. When he tries to get outs via contact, it doesn’t go quite as well for him.

Last time out against the Yankees, he managed to strike out just two batters and allowed seven runs on seven hits. Most concerning of all, he allowed all the runs despite giving up just one home run, which has long been his Achilles heel.

I’ve generally been bearish on Darvish over the last few years as he gets older, so I’m choosing to take these results as a warning sign. His walk rate has gone up this year and his strikeout rate is down for a third straight.

Going against Chicago Cubs team that ranks in the Top 10 in home-run-to-fly-ball ratio and one which has been hampered by strikeouts, I think this is an excellent spot to fire up the roadside. Getting the Cubbies at plus money is just the icing on the cake.

My best bet: Cubs moneyline (+150 at DraftKings)

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Cubs vs Padres moneyline analysis

As mentioned, Chicago is the underdog in this matchup while the San Diego Padres are between -160 and -175 depending on the book.

I already talked about Darvish, but on the other side of this matchup we have Drew Smyly who has been great. He owns a 3.45 ERA with a low 2.96 xERA, and is doing very well for himself despite a league-average strikeout rate of 22%. Frankly, it’s a pretty solid number when you consider he’s been at 21.4% or lower in the last couple of years.

I’m focused here on Smyly’s .222 expected batting average and his ability to get fly ball outs. It’s rare to see a pitcher like that succeed in today’s league, but his hard-hit rate is an incredible 28.5%! It’s also beneficial here that the Padres enter just 15th in home-run-to-fly ball ratio.

So, I think the pitching matchup here is even at best. For my money, the Cubs’ hurler has the slightly better matchup.

Cubs vs Padres Over/Under analysis

If you don’t want to play the big road underdog here — which may be understandable given the Cubs haven’t scored too many runs lately — I recommend grabbing the Over.

The fact remains that Darvish is a very flawed pitcher at 36 years of age, and both pitchers here will probably be pitching to plenty of contact given their diminishing returns in the strikeout department.

This seems to be the sharp side of the line as well. While many may flock to the Under considering the season Smyly has had, I think this line has everything to do with Darvish’s name value. A low 43% of the bets at DraftKings are on the Over, but it’s commanded 61% of the handle.

Cubs vs Padres game info

Location: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023
First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Drew Smyly (5-2, 3.45 ERA): The left hander gave up five earned runs in his last outing against the Reds, which was just the second time all year he’s allowed more than two runs in a start. The other came in his season debut, and it was also the Reds that did him in. There will be no Reds in the batter’s box on Saturday.

Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.61 ERA): The graying veteran now owns a 5.74 ERA in the month of May, allowing seven earned across 11 1/3 innings in the two starts prior to his disaster against the Yankees last time out.

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The Cubs are 5-1 in the last six meetings in San Diego. Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Padres


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