Nover’s View: Cubs-Diamondbacks Free Play

On July 16, 2021, in Free Picks, MLB, by Stephen

Cubs minus $1.47 at Diamondbacks

Trailing the Brewers by eight games in the NL Central, the Cubs are on the verge of breaking up what has been one of the best cores in baseball for the past six years.

Joc Pederson was dealt to the Braves for a minor league first baseman on Thursday. The next to go could be the heavyweights – Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and closer Craig Kimbrel. That could happen with the trade deadline two weeks away if the Cubs were to lose this series against the Diamondbacks. 

Arizona is the worst team in the majors being 40 games under .500. The Diamondbacks are 5-13 in their last 18 games and have lost 20 of their past 26 home games. 

This is last stand time for the Cubs and I have to believe they are going to take care of business against the Diamondbacks especially in this opener where the pitching matchup is Kyle Hendricks versus Madison Bumgarner. 

Hendricks is highly reliable at 11-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He’s 5-1 on the road with a 3.62 ERA and is 9-0 during his past 11 starts. The Diamondbacks have a well below average offense. They rank 29th in homers. 

Bumgarner is just 31, but hasn’t aged well. The southpaw has a 5.73 ERA, which swells to 7.15 at home. He last pitched on June 2 against the Mets before he left after two innings because of shoulder discomfort. The Cubs have a winning record versus lefty starters. Chicago ranks third in batting average and fifth in on-base percentage in the National League against southpaws. 

The Cubs hold a huge bullpen edge, too, thanks to the dominance of Kimbrel, who has a 0.57 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. 

(Editor’s note: Stephen Nover has his MLB Underdog Game of the Week going today in addition to this free selection. Stephen has won nine of his last 13 MLB premium/free plays and is 15-8 on his last 23 NBA plays. All of Stephen’s plays come with his trademark deep dive analysis. If you are interested in his sports service please email him at, or message him via Twitter.)


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