The San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs will be wrapping up a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. Both teams will be trying to finish the first half of the season off with a win. The Major League Baseball All-Star Break will begin on Monday, with games resuming play on Thursday.
The Chicago Cubs are back in first place in the National League Central Division, after chasing the Milwaukee Brewers for much of the season. The San Diego Padres are in last place in the National League West Division, and should be sellers at the 2018 trade deadline. The Chicago Cubs are -168 over the San Diego Padres on Sunday in Major League Baseball.
Lester Pitching Like Ace For Cubs
Veteran left hander, Jon Lester, is having one of the best years of his career for the Chicago Cubs. Lester was named to the 2018 National League All-Star team, but will have to miss the game due to pitching on Sunday. The Cubs ace is 11-2 with a sparkling 2.45 earned run average through 18 starts this season. Lester is on the short list of Cy Young Award candidates in the National League.
Javier Baez continues to lead the Chicago Cubs offense, and was voted in by the fans to start the 2018 All-Star Game on Tuesday. Baez leads the Cubs with 18 home runs and 66 runs batted in, and continues to deliver stellar defense for Chicago. The Cubs have plenty of talent on the roster, and appear to be gearing up for another great second half of the season.
Padres Offense Coming Up Short
The San Diego Padres rank near the bottom of the league in both total runs and team batting average in 2018. Jose Pirela leads the team with a .260 batting average, which is by far the lowest team-leading batting average in baseball. Third baseman, Christian Villanueva, is having a terrific season for San Diego. The slugger leads the team in both home runs (18) and runs batted in (42).
Rookie left hander, Eric Lauer, will make the start for San Diego in the series finale. Lauer has had an up and down season in 2018, but appears to be a mainstay in the Padres rotation for years to come. Lauer is 5-5 with a 4.40 earned run average through 15 starts this season. The Chicago Cubs will make for a very tough test for the rookie starting pitcher.
Cubs Complete Sweep of Padres
The San Diego Padres can’t compete with the rest of their division this season, and it looks like they are needed to start a rebuild. The Padres do have some interesting and talented players, but the team hasn’t “gelled” all year long. It will be interesting to see how many Padres get traded within the next month.
The Chicago Cubs just continue to win, and they always find new ways to get the job done. Chicago has now taken over 1st place in the National League Central Division, and will hope to widen their lead in the second half of the season. With Lester on the mound in the series finale, the Cubs have a great shot to complete the sweep. Bet on the Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs -168 over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.