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Drew Smyly will come crashing back to Earth after dominating the Dodgers in his last two starts. While he has been solid to begin the season, his career numbers suggest regression is coming. That happens tonight as the Padres bats come alive. Wacha will continue his struggles on the mound, leading to a barnburner tonight.
The Padres (12-13) ended a winning run with their shut-out loss to the Cubs last night. Their offense disappeared against Justin Steele, leading to their second shutout in their previous four games. Their struggles can be traced directly to their problems at the plate, which is surprising for a team expected to be among the best in the league. They now have Fernando Tatis Jr back in the lineup, meaning this team can go off anytime.
With Tatis back in the lineup, he joins Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts in the top four. Tatis and Soto both own batting averages under .200, while Machado isn’t much better at .213. We expect that to change tonight, as this lineup is way too talented to get shut down in back-to-back games. While it is far from the time to panic, the Padres need to start winning series to avoid digging themselves a big hole in the NL West. Look for them to jump on Smyly and get into the Cubs bullpen, leading to a big run total.
Michael Wacha (2-1, 7.08 ERA) enters Wednesday looking to turn around a brutal start to 2023. After a career season with the Red Sox, the pitcher was an important addition for the Padres, but he has yet to show it. Wacha has allowed 12 earned runs over his last two starts (8 ⅓ innings) and has given up 10+ hits in both. He does have one incredible start this season, shutting out the Braves over seven innings with ten strikeouts. That was the version of Wacha that the Padres signed, but his last two starts show that version may be gone. Considering how hot the Cubs have been, don’t expect Wacha to snap out of his slump today.
Nobody saw this start for the Chicago Cubs (13-9) as they have surged out to lead the NL Central. They have had a solid balance of hitting and pitching, highlighted by the fact that they are second in the league in batting average (.280) and ninth in ERA (3.67). They have impressive series wins over the Brewers, Rangers, Mariners, and Dodgers, making them a serious threat going forward.
As good as they have been, their pitching has begun to struggle. In their last series against the Dodgers, they have up 22 runs over four games. That includes a shutout in their lone win of the series. That is more like the Cubs we expected to see, and all signs point to another lousy night for their pitching as they face a Padres offense ready to explode.
Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.13 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs tonight. Outside of a brutal start to open the season, Smyly is having a fantastic season. He kept the hot streak going last week when he dominated the Dodgers to get his second win of the season. The veteran threw 7 ⅔ innings scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out ten. Smyly was strong for the Cubs last season and should be a solid piece of this Cubs rotation, but we expect him to regress tonight. His career numbers are well below what he’s doing now, and he’ll be facing a Padres offense that is capable of putting up big runs.
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Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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