After another dominant pitching performance from Justin Steele carried Chicago to a win on Tuesday night, the Cubs will go for the series win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. First pitch from Wrigley Field is set for 7:40 p.m. ET. Michael Wacha (2-1, 7.08 ERA) will go for the Padres, while Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.13) looks to follow up on his near-perfect game last week for Chicago.
DraftKings has this one as a coin flip on the moneyline, as both teams check in at -110. The run total is set at 8.
Padres vs. Cubs picks: Wednesday, April 26
Out: RP Drew Pomeranz (flexor tendon surgery), C Luis Campusano (left thumb sprain), RP Nabil Crismatt (left hip strain), OF David Dahl (right quad strain), OF Adam Engel (left hamstring strain), RP Jose Castillo (left shoulder strain)
Out: SP Kyle Hendricks (right shoulder strain), SP Jameson Taillon (left groin strain)
Michael Wacha vs. Drew Smyly
Other than a frankly inexplicable 10-strikeout performance against the Atlanta Braves earlier this season, it’s been tough sledding for Wacha this season. The righty relies largely on his changeup to get outs, throwing the pitch over 30 percent of the time, and maybe that number should be even higher: All three of Wacha’s fastballs — a four-seamer, sinker and cutter — are allowing slugging percentages over .500 so far this year. Wacha doesn’t have a legitimate breaking ball option in his arsenal, which makes it tough for him to get right-handers out — not a great sign against a Cubs team stacked with righty sluggers.
Smyly came oh so close to perfection last week against the Los Angeles Dodgers, utilizing each of his two pitches — fastballs elevated, curveballs diving down out of the zone — to perfection. Those are the only two pitches he throws, though, so if even one of them isn’t working that day, he can give up crooked numbers in a hurry.
The Padres have been scuffling on offense of late, but even given that fact this number seems too low. Dansby Swanson, Patrick Wisdom, Seiya Suzuki and the rest of the Cubs’ righties should feast off of Wacha, meaning that San Diego only needs to chip in two or three runs for this over to hit.
Pick: Over 8
Wacha doesn’t match up well with this Chicago lineup, while I’ll believe that this star-studded Padres offense will break out once it actually happens. Until then, give me the Cubs.