Diamondbacks vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Arizona Won't Snap Six-Game Skid in Windy City

While we're expecting Zac Gallen to give the Diamondbacks another quality start, can the bullpen and batting lineup contribute enough to snap a six-game losing streak? We say no — find out why in our MLB betting picks and predictions.

Last Updated: May 19, 2022 2:10 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Marcus Stroman Chicago Cubs MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It has been an interesting first six weeks of the season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The top end of their rotation has been as good as any in baseball, but their bats have been M.I.A. far too often and enter tonight’s game at Wrigley Field losers of six in a row. 

They hand the ball to their best starter in Zac Gallen in hopes of ending that skid while the Chicago Cubs, who have won six of their last nine, counter Gallen with Marcus Stroman, who has been inconsistent in his first season on the North Side.

So, who has the baseball betting edge? Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Diamondbacks vs. Cubs on Thursday, May 19.

Diamondbacks vs Cubs odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Cubbies opened this National League matchup as about even money underdogs, but have seen the bulk of the early action and are now roughly -130 home favorites. The total for this fame hit the board at 8 but bettors have hammered the Over, moving the number up to 9 as of Thursday afternoon. 

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Diamondbacks vs Cubs predictions

Picks made on 5/19/2022 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Diamondbacks vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2022
First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network

Diamondbacks vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zac Gallen (2-0, 1.05 ERA): Gallen has looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball to this point in the season. The right-hander has given up just four runs and 18 hits over his first six starts.

Marcus Stroman (1-3, 5.13 ERA): Stroman got off to a rough start in his first year with the Cubs, but the right-hander is coming off his best start of the season, holding the Brewers scoreless over seven innings allowing just two hits.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Diamondbacks: Ketel Marte 2B (Questionable), Kyle Nelson RP (Out), Nick Ahmed SS (Out), Keynan Middleton RP (Out), Carson Kelly C (Out).
Cubs: Daniel Norris RP (Questionable), Jason Heyward OF (Out), Clint Frazier OF (Out), Nico Hoerner SS (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings between the Diamondbacks and Cubs. Find more MLB betting trends for Diamondbacks vs. Cubs

Diamondbacks vs Cubs picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

Between Zac Gallen, Merril Kelley, and Madison Bumgarner, the Diamondbacks couldn’t ask for much more out of the top of their rotation, Gallen in particular. 

The right-hander has been one of the best pitchers in baseball at this point in the season. He locates his fastball well and mixes his speeds well with a solid change and curveball while also using a cutter to strike out batters. 

Gallen used those all well as he had his way with the Cubs lineup five days ago, limiting them to one run on two hits while striking out nine over six innings. 

The problem for the D-backs is two-fold. One, Gallen can’t pitch forever and has to hand the ball to a bullpen that ranks 28th in ERA and 29th in opponent batting average. And two, the Diamondbacks can’t hit. Arizona ranks 29th in batting average and 23rd in OPS and tonight’s matchup versus Marcus Stroman should be interesting.

Stroman is a master of changing his delivery to mess with hitters’ timing. Unfortunately, his stuff hasn’t been moving well early on. Most specifically, his sinker hasn’t had much sink to it and as a result, the right-hander has been hit hard and opponents have an expected batting average of .282 when facing him. 

However, he's coming off his best start of the season against a strong Milwaukee Brewers lineup. Stroman should be able to carry that momentum over into this matchup. 

While the Cubbies lineup is a little beat up and in a bit of a slump, they’re still not as bad as the Diamondbacks. Chicago also has a huge edge in the bullpen where their relievers rank fourth in ERA. So, while Gallen should keep his team in this one for a while, his teammates will likely let him down.

Prediction: Cubs moneyline (-125 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

When it comes to the total, the early money jumped all over the Over, but I couldn’t be more in the opposite direction. 

For starters, as we have noted many times, Gallen has been terrific this season. He dominated this Cubs lineup in his last start, a performance that lowered his expected ERA to an awesome 1.89 and is limiting opponents to an xBA of .175. 

He should get a chance to repeat that performance against a Cubbies lineup that ranks 20th in MLB in batting average and OPS when it comes to facing right-handed pitching. And even though the D-backs bullpen stinks, Gallen has done a good job of limiting their exposure in his starts, pitching at least six innings in each of his last four starts.

On the other side, Stroman has shown some sides of settling in. He has allowed just two earned runs on eight hits over his last 13 innings and now gets to face the Diamondbacks. The D-backs are hitting just .206 when facing right-handed pitchers this season. That is the second-worst mark in the Majors. 

While the D-backs bullpen could blow this, the starters should do a good enough job to keep this one below the number.

Prediction: Under 9 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

So, the D-backs bullpen may give you a reason to pause when it comes to betting the total. So, why not eliminate them from the equation and look at the five-inning total?

On top of everything else Gallen is doing well, right-handers are punching out Cubs hitters at an alarming rate. Chicago ranks dead last in the Bigs when it comes to strikeout rate when facing righties this season and Gallen struck out nine in that meeting last week. 

Stroman, meanwhile, faces an Arizona lineup that ranks 23rd in MLB in first-five inning scoring. The Under 4.5 first five innings looks like a solid bet tonight.

While we’re at it, let’s also take Gallen to Under his hit total of 4.5 at nice plus money. It’s a number he’s gone Under in four of his six starts this season. 

Pick: First five innings Under 4.5 (-105 at DraftKings)

Pick: Zac Gallen Under 4.5 hits allowed (+128)

MLB parlays

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