Padres vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Steele and Darvish Battle it Out

Coming into this game, both teams are in significantly different positions in the standings. While Chicago is down in the dumps, San Diego looks to take control of its division. See what we like in our MLB betting picks and predictions for Padres vs. Cubs.

Jun 13, 2022 • 15:29 ET • 4 min read
Justin Steele Chicago Cubs MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres will meet up for a four-game series starting Monday night. 

Chicago comes into this one reeling. It has lost six straight and was drummed over the weekend in a series with the Yankees. The cumulative score was 28-5, including an 18-4 loss yesterday. It'll look for a big lift when it heads back to Wrigley today.

San Diego continues to carry on without Fernando Tatis. It did lose two straight to the Rockies over the weekend, but still comes into this one relatively hot. It has won seven of its last ten and is just half a game behind the Dodgers in the NL West — looking to surpass them tonight.

Read our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Cubs vs. Padres to see which side we'll be backing tonight. 

Padres vs Cubs odds

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

Odds were released for this game early this morning. The Padres opened as relatively strong favorites at -145. However, we've seen the Cubs make some decent money since then. As a result, San Diego has fallen to -128 in most spots, with Chicago returning at around +115. The total opened up at 9 and has stayed there.

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.

Padres vs Cubs predictions

Picks made on 6/13/2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Padres vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Monday, June 13, 2022
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports San Diego, Marquee Sports Network-Chicago

Padres vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Yu Darvish (5-3, 3.61 ERA) Darvish has continued to be steady, with this probably being the second-best start to a season in his career. His pitches won't blow you away, but he simply finds ways to get outs. His line-drive rate is among the lowest in the majors, which generally means that teams are making too hard of contact against him. Unfortunately, his last two performances indicate some of the uneven performances he's given this season. His previous outing against the Mets was sparkling: He gave up two hits and zero earned runs through seven innings. Yet the performance before then, he got roughed up against the Cardinals when he allowed five earned runs in seven innings.

Justin Steele (1-5, 4.79 ERA): In my estimation, Steele has been pretty lucky to be tagged with his ERA. His expected ERA seems to back that up with it being an entire run lower than what he currently has. What's been the issue for Steele are some of the more minor things: Walks and swings for misses. However, he does a terrific job inducing soft contact with an exit velocity and hard-hit rate, ranking near the league's top. His last start looked like he started to receive some of that positive regression. He went seven innings against St Louis and gave up just one earned run. Steele is a fastball, slider-heavy pitcher utilizing the slider as his primary put-away pitch.


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

Key injuries

Padres: Wil Myers RF (Out), Fernando Tatis Jr. SS (Out), Matt Beaty, RF (Out), Austin Adams P (Out), Pierce Johnson P (Out), Robert Suarez P (Out), Adrian Morejon P (Out).
Cubs: Michael Hermosillo RF (Out), David Bote 2B (Out), Nick Madrigal 2B (Out), Manuel Rodriguez P (Out), Ethan Roberts P (Out), Seiya Suzuki RF (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings in Chicago. Find more MLB betting trends for Padres vs. Cubs

Padres 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.

Run line analysis

This is not the most enjoyable game to back either side. I believe San Diego has a pitching disadvantage. Yet on the other side of the coin, Chicago has been a nightmare lately. Still, there's too much for me to like about this matchup for Justin Steele, and because of that, I'll be backing the Cubs. 

The Padres make the second weakest contact of any team in the league. Yet, these are the sides that Steele has thrived against. So it's no surprise that when you look at his best start of the season — one that came against the Cardinals just a week ago — it was against a team with one of the lowest exit velocities in the league. 

Another thing I like about going for Steele is he should have some relative success with swings and misses. He relies on his breaking pitches when he gets into trouble, and the Padres don't hit breaking pitches well. He isn't striking out many players: That's been his most significant issue. But even the slightest bump in that department may help him get some more regression he's sorely due for. 

On the flip side of the bump, we attempt to solve the riddle that is Yu Darvish. At this point, it feels impossible to predict what type of performance you'll get from him on a nightly basis, but we can try. In a vacuum, the teams that have been the most successful against Darvish are the ones that have been patient at the plate.

In addition, Chicago does a relatively good job of not chasing and has one of the lower swing rates in the league. While it's probably not a significant edge, it's enough for me to say that Darvish won't have an advantage himself. 

I'm going to avoid the bullpens here and look at the F5 markets. I give the Cubs a 55% chance of being tied after five. The best price I have currently for Chicago on the F5 run line is -125. That suggests an implied probability of precisely 55%. So while my projections don't see any edge here, I'll lean on the strength of my handicap. 

Prediction: Cubs first five innings +0.5 (-125 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

Now from a side where we don't have much conviction to one where we do. Again, I'll be avoiding the bullpens here and attacking the F5 market. I'll be on the Under today, and I'm a big fan of this spot.

Although I think the Cubs have a relatively decent matchup against Darvish, it's difficult to envision them inflicting much damage. In their last three games, they are scoring the third least runs per game in baseball. You may say "they're due," and perhaps that's right, but their offense has now fallen to 19th in runs per game. That's hugely significant for the team that led that category to start the season.

Additionally, while they exhibit the patience at the plate that can hurt Darvish, they struggle in other places. Darvish is a fastball pitcher primarily. Chicago as a collective struggles against power pitches. While I expect it to fare decently, it isn't easy to see it happening with many runs.

I've talked a decent amount about why I like Steele's matchup against Padre hitters today. He's due for continued repression and isn't nearly as poor as some of the numbers he has produced. However, it's worth repeating that if Steele can get many swings and misses — like he's well suited to do tonight — he could take off as a pitcher. That's a significant thing that seems to be holding him back and something I don't expect him to have to deal with as much in this game.

My projections see a significant edge here. This play is available close to +100 on virtually every location. I have this hitting a 65% clip which is an excellent edge and one I'll gladly take.

Prediction: First five Under 4.5 (-102 at FanDuel)

Best bet

I won't be making this overcomplicated. As previously stated, this is a tricky game to handicap as these two teams just don't have many edges. The best bet of the bunch for me is the F5 Under.

Both pitchers should fare reasonably well against each other, and we get the added benefit of the winds blowing in. Something we haven't spoken about? The trends They like the Under as well. The Under is 5-0-1 in the last six meetings of these two teams in Chicago. Collectively, it's 7-3-1 in the previous 11 between the two, so I'm rolling with the Under today.

PickFirst five Under 4.5 (-102 at FanDuel)

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