Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs: Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 23, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-RM, Marquee Sports Network

Season-to-date
Rockies: 57-67 (4th place, NL West)
Cubs: 54-72 (Last place, NL Central)

Recent form
Rockies: 6-4 in last 10
Cubs: 2-8 in last 10

Projected lineup


Rockies:
Connor Joe (R) LF
Brendan Rodgers (R) 2B
Ryan McMahon (L) 3B
Trevor Story (R) SS
C.J. Cron (R) 1B
Sam Hilliard (L) RF
Garrett Hampson (R) CF
Dom Nunez (L) C
Antonio Senzatela (R) P

Cubs:
Rafael Ortega (L) CF
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Ian Happ (S) LF
Patrick Wisdom (R) 3B
Matt Duffy (R) 2B
Jason Heyward (L) RF
Austin Romine (R) C
Sergio Alcantara (S) SS
Kyle Hendricks (R) P

Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Cubs -130, Rockies, +110
BetMGM: Cubs -130, Rockies, +110
FanDuel: Cubs -138, Rockies, +118

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Rockies - Cubs preview


The Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs will begin a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Monday in a battle of teams playing for pride.

The Rockies are coming off their second consecutive series victory, but had their five-game winning streak (that included a sweep of the San Diego Padres) end in an 8-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the series finale at Coors Field. Second baseman Ryan McMahon went 2-for-3 and had two RBI. Connor Joe and CJ Cron also drove in the other runs.

But Colorado’s starting pitching was its downfall on Sunday. Jon Gray went 5.1 IP but gave up five earned runs on six hits and had 3 BB on the mound for Colorado. Barring another August start, Gray is going to finish the month 0-4 with only getting to the sixth inning twice. He’s given up 15 runs in that stretch.

Colorado will turn to Antonio Senzatela to kick off this nine-game road trip. Colorado’s pitchers don’t get any better from here. The right-hander is 2-9 with a 4.58 ERA in 20 starts this season; accuracy is not the name of the game for Mr. Senzatela. If the Rockies are going to erase that 11-game deficit in the wild card race, it would help to get some pitching for the last month or so.

The Cubs need more things beyond pitching to get back to the playoffs. Not that moving on from Jake Arrieta was going to aid that pitching staff right away, but it’s more bleak than what we initially thought.

Chicago was held to one run on five hits against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, resulting in a sweep and falling backwards from that series win against the Cincinnati Reds last week. Frank Schwindel was the only notable offensive performer based on the full list available, going 2-for-4 in the 9-1 loss. Alec Mills got rocked for six earned runs on 11 hits in only four innings.

In hopes of rebounding from that abysmal time, Kyle Hendricks will be on the bump for the Cubs. That may lower the Rockies odds of winning this game because the Cubs are going toward Ol’ Reliable to win. But your fantasy baseball lineup will thank you, as Hendricks enters 14-5 with a 4.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.33. Much has changed since June, as has Hendricks’ desire to stay in Chicago going forward, probably. That’s a fun bonus to think about this offseason.

Betting trends


The Rockies are 6-11 as an underdog when Senzatela starts.

The Cubs are 24-17 when the moneyline is -100 to -150 in their favor.

Prediction


The Cubs can’t be trusted. We’d rather take the Rockies and their recent stretch of success to get the win. Rockies win 6-1.

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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