It will be first versus last today when the NL Central Division leading Chicago Cubs begin a weekend series with the Western Division cellar dwellers Colorado Rockies in a 2:20 p.m. ET Friday matinee game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The Cubs will send LHP Todd Lilly (5-4,5.23 ERA)to the mound today with hopes of helping Chicago to its fifth straight home win. To counter, the Rockies plan to go with their ace RHP Aaron Cook 7-3, 2.82 ERA).
Oddsmakers at at online sportsbook SportsBetting.com have installed the Cubs as 150-moneyline favorites with an 11 run total.
After dropping his past two decisions, Cook regained his form against the Mets that helped him reel off a club-record six straight wins earlier this season. Cook was in complete control from the first inning against New York, pitching the first complete game by a Rockies pitcher since Aug. 27 of last year. He gave up just one run on four hits, threw 118 pitches (72 for strikes) and recorded 16 groundball outs. Cook has had success against the Cubs in the past (he's 3-1 with a 2.32 ERA) and had one of his best outings of the year against the Cubs in April, giving up two runs on four hits in victory. This will be Cook's first start at Wrigley Field.
Lilly did not get a decision in his last start against the Pirates, which was another extra-inning loss for the Cubs. The lefty gave up three homers for the first time since doing so in back to back starts one year ago. Two of those were by light-hitting Luis Rivas. For the game, Lilly was charged with four runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. He was mad at himself after the game for not going deeper the bullpen was overworked and at some mistakes in pitch selection.
The Cubs scored five times in their last two at bats on Thursday, as they doubled the Rockies 8-4. The Cubs won the game as -155 favorites, while the 12 runs made it OVER the posted over/under (9).
Alfonso Soriano had two hits with two RBIs in five trips to the plate for the Cubs. Michael Wuertz tossed just over an inning of relief and was given credit for the victory.
Ian Stewart went 3-for-5 at the plate with one RBI for the Rockies, who were +140 underdogs. Matt Herges allowed two runs in relief and was tagged with the loss.
Point-Spreads.com MLB Picks: Cubs ML -150