In the first of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs (5-3) and the San Diego Padres (5-3) at Wrigley Field, Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50 ERA) and James Shields (1-0, 2.08 ERA) take the mound. The game gets underway at 2:20 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 17 and will air on FSN-SD and ABC7.
Hammel is 4-3 with a 5.01 ERA, 59 strikeouts and 26 walks against the Padres in his career. Jorge Soler (.310 ) went 1 for 3 Wednesday with one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Cubs, Shields is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA, nine strikeouts and two walks. Justin Upton (.351, 9 Rs, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 1 SB) has been doing well to start the season for the Padres, going 3 for 4 Wednesday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
The odds are even for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is presently unavailable. The Cubs are fourth in the NL in walks allowed with just 2.2 per game.
San Diego is one of the top hitting teams in the league with 33 extra base hits. The San Diego pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging 8.4 strikeouts per game.
This game will feature Shields (RHP) on the mound against the Cubs, who have a 5-2 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Padres will be the right-hander Hammel. They sport a 5-3 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - SD
The Padres won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Cubs are 2-1. The Padres are also 2-1 in close games this season.
San Diego has won 60% (3-2) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Chicago has won all of its games (1-0) when taking a late lead.
The Chicago batters brought in a solid 11 hits last game. San Diego has a record of 0-2 when their opponents get that many hits or more.
When they are outhit, the Padres are 0-3. The Cubs have a 3-3 record when opponents outhit them.
San Diego ranks in the bottom half of the league at 19th when it comes to home runs, hitting seven this season. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at ninth with nine.
Ranking 14th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 7.13 per game. San Diego ranks in the top five at second with 9.60.
Ranking 11th, Chicago is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.705). San Diego ranks in the top 10 at seventh with an OPS of .755.
The Padres are 4-2 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cubs are 1-1 when they allow at least one homer.