Cubs vs Padres Prediction, Picks, and Odds: Cubbies Come to Play

The Cubs' offense has been a pleasant surprise this season and now it'll get a chance to feast on the aging Yu Darvish. Our MLB picks are expecting a rough day on the mound for the San Diego starter and the Padres as a whole.

Apr 8, 2024 • 16:51 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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Dansby Swanson Chicago Cubs MLB
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The Chicago Cubs are off to a blistering start to the season with six wins in nine games and will now take a trip out west to meet the San Diego Padres for a midweek series which could cement their fast start.

With yet another question mark starting the game for Chicago, can San Diego continue to improve its offensive outlook in this one as the MLB odds underdog?

Let's dive right into it with my in-depth preview and MLB picks for the Cubs vs. Padres on Monday, April 8.

Cubs vs Padres odds

Cubs vs Padres predictions

The San Diego Padres continue to be a mystery to me (and perhaps me only). Aside from an offensive explosion against the Los Angeles Dodgers to take their first game of the year in Japan, and one nice showing against rookie Daulton Jeffries in an opening-week win over the San Francisco Giants, this team has simply not hit.

The worst part is San Diego can’t even chalk its issues up to striking out — it simply has not done any damage when the ball’s been put in play. The Padres' 148 Isolated Power is a fine mark, sitting around the middle of the league, but once again that’s inflated by two isolated performances.

Javier Assad certainly hasn’t looked like one of those aforementioned Cubs starting pitchers who are question marks with six scoreless in his first outing of the year, but that did come against the Rockies and featured a slight bit of luck when you look deeper into the numbers.

The big thing here is Assad was a reliever for most of last season, and while he did start plenty of games in the minors, he wasn’t exactly dominant. Still, Assad has done a good job to keep his fly ball rate under the league average and was particularly strong there against Colorado. 

The Padres are fifth in ground ball rate to this point in the season as well, which should play into Assad’s hands here given the superb defense behind him.

On the other hand, Yu Darvish has started off his season in fine form, continuing to find a way to pitch around his strikeout issues. He’s allowed over 20 home runs a year on average for the past three seasons, however, and will encounter a Chicago Cubs team that, while not fly ball-happy, does rank 15th in home run-to-fly ball ratio.

It’s pretty hard to doubt this Cubs offense right now, which could be the best in baseball, and their ability to hit for power should cause Darvish’s issues with the gopher ball to rear their ugly head. I also think Assad is in a great spot here despite some questions, and behind a solid infield defense (even better if Nick Madrigal starts) the ground balls San Diego is producing should not hurt him.

My best bet: Cubs moneyline (+120 at DraftKings)

Cubs vs Padres same-game parlay

Cubs moneyline

Yu Darvish 2+ walks allowed

Dansby Swanson 2+ total bases

Neither of these to teams are really striking out a whole bunch, which makes either strikeout prop a rather tough sell. Still, we should be able to profit here off of a pitcher prop market with the additional offerings available at DraftKings.

I’ll go for Darvish to walk a couple of batters here. He’s done well to walk just two across his last two outings, but did walk three against the Dodgers and will be up against a Cubs team walking in 12.3% of plate appearances. The right hander saw his excellent walk rates take a big step backwards at nearly 8% a season ago, and with how Chicago looks this should be a safe bet.

Darvish, with fewer strikeouts, has also been very susceptible to barrels, and with that I’ll jump on one of the hottest hitters in baseball to perhaps go for extra bases — or at the very least collect a pair of hits. Dansby Swanson is hitting .310 this season, with at least one hit in seven of his nine games with two or more total bases in four of those contests.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Cubs vs Padres moneyline and Over/Under analysis

  • The Padres oened as -142 on the ML but we've seen steady movement toward the Cubs
  • The total opened at 7.5 and has stayed put
  • Over at DraftKings, 54% of bets are on the Cubs but 87% of money is on the Over

Trend to know

The Cubs have hit the first five innings (F5) team total Over in 38 of their last 66 games (+9.21 Units / 12% ROI). Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Padres

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Cubs vs Padres game info

Location: Petco Park, San Diego, CA
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
First pitch: 9:40 p.m. ET
TV: Marquee, San Diego Padres Network

Starting pitchers

Javier Assad (1-0, 0.00 ERA):The 26-year-old has amassed a solid 2.94 ERA in his big-league career, and a 2.80 ERA in 19 starts. He was used to success as a bullpen arm last year, but his 4.64 xERA for the season seemed to indicate he may not be quite this sharp.

Yu Darvish (0-1, 2.30 ERA): The 37-year-old has dealt with a declining strikeout rate over the past four seasons, and with that his issues with home runs have become all the more concerning. He was limiting walks for a brief while, but is now close to the league average in the past two years and when coupled with a league-average expected batting average, he’s not quite the dominant arm he once was.

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