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CUBS LOOK TO EVEN RECORD HOSTING ARIZONA
Mon, 02 May 2011 01:32 PM EDT

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (1-1)

at CHICAGO CUBS (1-2)

First pitch: Monday, 2:20 p.m. EDT
Line: Chicago -145, Arizona +135

The Cubs look to bounce back from a disappointing series loss to Pittsburgh when they host Arizona on Monday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Baseball odds.

Chicago dropped its first series of the season, falling to the Pirates on Sunday, 5-4, after closer Carlos Marmol allowed two runs in the ninth inning. Randy Wells, who finished last season with an 8-14 record and 4.26 ERA, will start on Monday. He won his first three games in 2010, but went 2-12 over his next 21 starts. The right-hander pitched 194.1 innings and allowed 209 hits with 144 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP. Wells was just 4-8 at home with a 4.09 ERA in 18 starts. He gave up 120 hits, including 10 home runs, in 110 innings at Wrigley Field and had an opponents’ batting average of .275. Wells is 2-0 against Arizona for his career and has 18 strikeouts and just one walk versus the Diamondbacks. But his lone start against them last season was a struggle. He got the win but allowed five earned runs and eight hits in six innings to go with eight strikeouts last April 30.

Arizona had its Sunday game versus Colorado postponed due to rain/snow. On Saturday, it dropped a 3-1 decision to the Rockies after winning the opener, 7-6 in 11 innings, with 15 hits. Joe Saunders was expected to start Sunday’s game, but will now pitch Monday at Wrigley Field, which moves Barry Enright to Tuesday. Baseball spreads.

Saunders had the most losses in the majors last season (17) with Arizona and the Angels. The left-hander finished 9-17 with a 4.47 ERA in a career-best 33 starts and went 4-9 on the road with a 4.43 ERA. He struggled to improve on those numbers during spring training, finishing 1-3 with a horrendous 12.46 ERA in six games. Saunders has faced the Cubs just once in his career, and it was not a good performance. He lasted 2.2 innings and gave up nine hits and eight runs (five earned) in a 12-1 Angels loss last June 20 at Wrigley Field. Saunders surrendered a home run to Geovany Soto, who hit .318 versus the Diamondbacks last season (7-for-22).

The Cubs have won six straight in the series with Arizona, including a 3-1 mark at Wrigley Field in 2010, and I expect that streak to continue Monday with the pitching advantage. This FoxSheets trend also supports Chicago as the pick to win on Monday.

MIKE QUADE is 12-2 (85.7%, +13.8 Units) against the money line after a loss as the manager of CHICAGO CUBS. The average score was CHICAGO CUBS 4.4, OPPONENT 2.1 – (Rating = 3*). Baseball lines.


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