The National League Wild Card race is coming down to the wire. The Philadelphia Phillies have a steady hold on the top spot, but the next few positions are up for grabs. The Chicago Cubs are a half game in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds, with the Miami Marlins looking to make some noise. That gives the Cubs-Diamondbacks Sunday Night Baseball game huge playoff implications. Let’s take a look at the Cubs-Diamondbacks odds and use the OddsShopper model to make a pick and find the best MLB bet.
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Best MLB Cubs-Diamondbacks Bet & Prediction: Ryne Nelson
Cubs-Diamondbacks Odds, via PointsBet
Cubs: -115 | Diamondbacks: -105
Cubs -1.5: +140 | Diamondbacks +1.5: -170
Over 9: -115 | Under 9: -105
Ryne Sandberg may be one of the greatest Cubs players of all time, but they’ll be dealing with a different Ryne on Sunday. Second-year hurler Ryne Nelson will take the hill for the D-Backs. Nelson has done enough to stay with the big club all year after coming up for a cup of coffee in 2022, but his numbers in 2023 are less than stellar. Nelson has posted a 5.53 ERA in 26 starts, with batters tuning him up for 24 home runs on the year. His struggles are largely due to low strikeouts and a high walk rate. He has whiffed just 88 batters and walked 41 in 135 innings in 2023.
Nelson might be Arizona’s weakest starting pitcher, but the Cubs offense has also sputtered as of late. They averaged just four runs per game in a three-game series in Coors Field last week. They managed four runs in their first game of the series versus the Diamondbacks and put up six runs on Saturday. Now at the end of a West Coast road trip, these bats may be tired, increasing the likelihood that they could struggle.
However, if there’s a get-right spot for this team, it is against Nelson. It will also be a bit of revenge. Nelson had one of his best outings against the Cubs earlier this month, tossing 5.2 innings of one run ball in Wrigley. That said, his overall numbers are poor, and this second go-around with the Cubs order could spell trouble. They’ve now seen what he has to offer, so don’t expect too much out of Nelson on Sunday night.
The most important metrics are simply the prices on Nelson’s strikeout props. There’s plenty of value to be had for betting the under at the moment. You can grab Ryne Nelson to go under 3.5 strikeouts at PointsBet for +120. This Cubs-Diamondbacks bet has true odds of +112 and a 47% win rate. That gives this MLB pick a 4% positive expected value and makes it worth laying about 1% of your bankroll if you’re using the full Kelly Criterion for sustainable bankroll growth.
Best Cubs-Diamondbacks MLB Bet: Ryne Nelson Under 3.5 Strikeouts (+120) at PointsBet
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