The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of their best stretch of an otherwise forgetful season. A victory in Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbackswould make them winners of 12 of their last 16 games and six straight at home. The Diamondbacks, who went in the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak, have had little luck against the Cubs’ pitching, managing a total of two runs in as many games.
After failing to get anything going against one trade candidate (Ryan Dempster) on Saturday, Arizona will be hoping to bring down the market value of another when it faces Matt Garza in Sunday’s finale. Garza is thought to be the more attractive option for other teams because he has demonstrated an ability to pitch under playoff pressure from his time with the Tampa Bay Rays and is six years younger. The Diamondbacks are fielding calls on their own players prior to the trade deadline and have another two weeks to decide if they will be buyers or sellers.
Diamondbacks Cubs Betting
When: 2:20 PM ET, Sunday, July 15, 2012
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, FSAZ (Arizona), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Trevor Cahill (7-7, 3.64 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Matt Garza (4-7, 4.32)
Cahill is at his best when he uses his heavy sinker to keep the ball on the ground. Lately, the right-hander has been letting too much air under the ball. Cahill has surrendered seven home runs in his last four starts, posting a 2-2 record with a 5.63 ERA in that span. He has made one career start against Chicago, securing a win despite allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Garza was victimized by the long ball in his final start before the break, yielding three home runs in four innings during a loss at Atlanta. The 28-year-old had allowed three earned runs or less in each of his previous six turns. Garza faced the Diamondbacks on June 24, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven in seven innings. The Cubs managed only one run in the contest, saddling Garza with the loss.
1. Arizona LF Jason Kubel (hamstring) was held out of the starting lineup on Saturday but appeared as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He is day-to-day.
2. Cubs phenom Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in 12 of 14 games since being recalled on June 26 and is batting .357.
3. Chicago is 10-1 in its last 11 home games against National League teams.