One of the best rivalries in baseball is renewed on Friday when the struggling Chicago Cubs visit the NL Central-contending St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are the much better team this year and sizable favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Cubs at Cardinals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 8:15 PM ET
- Where: Busch Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Kyle Hendricks/Andre Pallante
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: Apple TV+
- Opening MLB Lines: Cardinals -150, Cubs +140 (total 8.5)
Why Bet on Chicago?
Willson Contreras leads all National League catchers with 801,630 votes after MLB released their first All-Star ballot update, June 21. He finds himself ahead of Travis d’Arnaud of the Atlanta Braves (471,921) as he tries for his third starting nod in the last four All-Star Games.
Contreras has reached base safely in 37 of his last 41 games since May 7, hitting .285 with seven doubles, one triple, 10 homers, 20 RBI and a .960 OPS. Contreras’ 12 home runs this season are the most among major league catchers, ahead of Salvador Pérez (11) and Travis d’Arnaud (10).
Outfielder and NL Rookie of the Year candidate Seiya Suzuki hasn’t played for weeks due to a finger and won’t in this series. He has begun hitting in a cage in Arizona. If all goes well as he makes his way through this hitting progression, he be ready to rejoin the Cubs before the All-Star break. Suzuki had posted a .775 OPS with four home runs, 21 RBI, three stolen bases, and 20 runs scored through his first 41 major league games.
It’s Kyle Hendricks (2-6, 5.43 ERA) scheduled on the mound for the Cubs. Hendricks was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings last Sunday in a loss to the Braves. Hendricks had a rough game despite striking out six batters and limiting the Braves to one walk. He was tagged for a three-run home run in the first inning, then a solo shot and two RBI doubles in the fifth before being pulled. The veteran righty gave up six earned runs for the third time this season and has allowed three or more earned runs in seven of 13 games this season.
Hendricks will make his 25th career start against the Cardinals. His 12 career wins against them are his most against any opponent. He has never lasted less than four innings pitched in any of his 24 starts against St. Louis. Hendricks owns a 5-1 record with a 2.74 ERA (19 ER/62.1 IP) in 10 previous starts at Busch Stadium, where Cardinals batters own a .240 batting average (56-for-233), a .289 OBP and a .663 OPS against him.
Why Bet on St. Louis?
St. Louis is 21-12 vs. the NL Central this season, and currently playing a stretch of 21 of 25 games against divisional opponents from June 2-26. Tommy Edman leads MLB in run-scoring games (40), defensive runs saved (15), assists (204), and defensive games played (76).
The Cards are down three starters in catcher Yadier Molina, outfielder Tyler O’Neill and DH Corey Dickerson, all on the injured list. Dickerson (calf) began a minor league rehab assignment on Thursday with Triple-A Memphis. Dickerson has been out since early June due to a left calf strain and figures to be ready to return when first eligible later this month.
Molina has been dealing with nagging soreness in his knee and is expected to miss multiple weeks. Andrew Knizner has been getting the lion’s share of the playing time at catcher. O’Neill has a hamstring strain, back on the IL just a couple weeks after returning from it. It’s not clear at this point how long he’ll be out. O’Neill had hit .354/.385/.521 in 13 games since being activated.
It’s Andre Pallante (2-2) on the mound. Pallante allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings last Sunday in a loss to the Red Sox. Pallante surrendered just four hits, including a second-inning solo homer to Trevor Story. The unheralded 23-year-old rookie right-hander has emerged as a viable mid-rotation starter this season for the Cardinals, compiling a strong 1.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 29/18 K/BB ratio across 42 2/3 innings (21 appearances, three starts).
He is making his second career start and appearance vs. the Cubs, the first team he will have made multiple starts against in his young MLB career. He threw 4.0 innings in his last start at Wrigley Field (6/4), which was also his first MLB start. He took a no decision in a game the Cardinals rallied to win in 10 innings, 7-4. Pallante is 1-0 with an 0.96 ERA in two career starts vs. N.L. Central opponents and 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in eight overall appearances vs. the division.
- Cubs are 3-10 in their last 13 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Cubs are 6-21 in their last 27 Friday games.
- Cubs are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 1 of a series.
- Cardinals are 8-2 in their last 10 home games.
- Cardinals are 7-2 in their last 9 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Cardinals are 16-5 in their last 21 Friday games.
- Cubs are 4-10 in the last 14 meetings.
Expert Prediction: Cardinals 6, Cubs 3
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