MLB odds in the past favored Zambrano but in the last two seasons he has pitched poorly. He blew up in the dugout earlier this season and was briefly suspended. The Cubs put him on the restricted list but after spending some time at Triple-A, Zambrano will be back in the rotation again. He pitched out of the bullpen for the Cubs on Friday and he also threw an inning out of the pen against the Brewers on Wednesday.
Zambrano was one of the biggest favorites in all of baseball between 2003 and 2008. He won 91 games during that time and was a very reliable starter for the Cubs. He was just 9-7 last year though and this season he is 3-6 with a 5.71 ERA. Zambrano is expected to be on a pitch count on Monday so he probably won’t go more than five or six innings.
The Cubs are going nowhere this season so they have nothing to lose by putting Zambrano back into the starting rotation. They would like to get something in return for Zambrano since they are paying him millions of dollars. Chicago traded away Ted Lilly and put Carlos Silva on the DL so they need some starting pitching. They called up rookie Thomas Diamond to fill one of the spots in the rotation and Zambrano will get the other one.
The Cubs have been one of the biggest losers for baseball gamblers this season. Chicago still gets way too much respect from the odds makers which means they are overpriced in almost every game. Betting on the Cubs has meant a lot of lost money for gamblers. Chicago was expected to contend in the National League Central this season but they are well behind St. Louis and Cincinnati. It is also the last year for manager Lou Piniella who has not been able to turn Chicago’s fortunes around in the past couple of seasons.