Chicago Cubs (0-0) Carlos Zambrano -105, 8 O/U at Houston Astros
(0-0) Roy Oswalt -105, 8 O/U, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas,
7:05 PM EST, Monday
by Badger of Predictem.com
The Chicago Cubs open their yearly quest to break the now 101-year
title jinx with ace Carlos Zambrano on the hill Monday, but the
pitcher in the home dugout at Minute Maid Park is crafty veteran Roy
Oswalt, so the Astros will be bringing their best gunslinger to the
opening day showdown.
Zambrano was sharp for most of his spring starts and will be looking
to duplicate his April 6th start versus the Astros last season, a 3-2
Cubs victory in which Zambrano earned the win with seven innings of
seven-hit, seven-strikeout, two-run pitching. For his career Zambrano
has been nasty against the Astros, going 12-7 with a 2.70 ERA and a .
193 batting average allowed in 24 starts.
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Oswalt wasnt on the mound for the Astros in that game last year
because it wasnt opening day, but it probably would not have
mattered much because in 25 career starts versus the Cubs, Oswalt is
a steady 12-11 with a 3.88 ERA and .283 batting average allowed.
Baseball oddsmakers think that Oswalt at home in Minute Maid Park
will negate any advantage the Cubs have with Zambrano on the bump,
because both pitchers are listed at -105 on the moneyline. A quick
scan of the board at the sportsbooks shows the Astros listed
anywhere from +100 up to -110, with the Cubs listed anywhere from
-102 to -115.
The over/under total is set at 8 runs, with both sides listed as -105
or -110, depending on whether or not you bet on the dimeline.
The Astros won the season series last year, 9-8, becoming one of the
Cubs more frustrating rivals in the National League Central division.
The series played way under the total, with the under cashing in 12
out of the 17 games last season.
The under has historically been good, as it is 23-6 in games played
at Minute Maid Park, a park that ironically plays the opposite as a
bandbox most of the time. The under is also 16-5 in Zambranos last
21 starts versus the Astros.
Badgers Pick: I like the Cubs and Zambrano here. Take Chicago at -105.