Chicago allowed a season-high seven home runs in yesterday’s 14-3 home defeat against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. “Cincinnati is leading the league in runs scored and they showed why,” manager Lou Piniella said. The team now travels West for the second time in two weeks and will look to snap a remarkable 11-game losing streak in the first game of a series. The Cubs last won a series opener on the road on May 19 versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Since scoring six runs against the Los Angeles Angeles on June 18 at Wrigley Field, the lineup is hitting .223 and scored three or fewer runs in 13 of their last 15 games. Chicago has scored in just four of their last 47 innings at the plate since the seventh inning on June 29 against Pittsburgh. The total is 12-22 O/U in Chicago road games this season and 30-44 O/U for the entire season.
Cubs starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny makes his 17th appearance and 11th start of the season, going 2-5 with a 3.14 ERA (-860). The left-hander has 29 career outings (17 starts) as a member of the Cubs organization, posting a 6-7 mark and 4.09 ERA. He has fanned 105 batters and allowed just nine home runs in 101.1 innings of action over that span. Gorzelanny has a losing 1-2 record on the road despite compiling an impressive 1.86 ERA in eight previous outings away from Wrigley Field (-200). He has managed to tally 34 strikeouts and allow just 22 hits in 29 road frames. In five previous starts against the Diamondbacks, he stands at 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA.
Arizona dropped its first series with new manager Kirk Gibson in the dugout, falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on Sunday. “We made one mistake,” Gibson said. That mistake was made by closer Aaron Heilman serving up a two-run homer to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp in the eighth inning. The loss dropped the Diamondbacks record to 4-34 when scoring three runs or less this season. The team’s offense relies heavily on the home run, falling to 3-26 when failing to leave the yard in 2010. Arizona still ranks second in the National League with 55 round trippers at Chase Field and fourth with 211 runs scored at home.
Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy looks to bounce back from a wild outing last time out, walking a franchise-record nine batters over 5.1 innings in a 5-3 road loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander has lost three straight games, posting a 6.50 ERA and .243 opponents average over that span. He stands at 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA in seven daytime starts this season, issuing 20 free passes and allowing seven home runs in 42.1 innings. Kennedy has been solid at home, posting an even 1-1 mark and 2.41 ERA in six starts (+150). He has allowed just 27 hits in 41 innings of work at Chase Field, as opposing batters are hitting .181 against him.
Bettors must respect the Diamondbacks 7-1 mark in their last eight games as a favorite, but the club’s 5-12 mark against left-handers is a major concern (-760). Arizona stands at 1-5 against southpaws in its last six opportunities at Chase Field. The two squads have gone over the total in the last five meetings, which is enough to get my money.