Arguably the best rivalry in the National League is renewed on Friday night in Game 1 of a three-game set as the Chicago Cubs make the trek south to visit the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time this season. The Cards are favored on the MLB lines.
How to Bet Cubs vs Cardinals MLB Odds, Game Info & Preview
- When: Friday, 8:15 PM ET
- Where: Busch Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Yu Darvish/Miles Mikolas
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: Chicago / St. Louis
- Opening MLB Lines: Cards -129, Cubs +119 (total 9.5)
The Cubs dominated the Cardinals at Wrigley from May 3-5, sweeping the series and outscoring St. Louis a combined 23-10. It was Chicago’ first three-game sweep of St. Louis since September 2017. The Cubs were playing a lot better than they are now, though.
Why Bet on Chicago?
The Cubs avoided a four-game losing streak and a sweep in Houston on Wednesday with a 2-1 win behind a dominant effort from Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs have lost consecutive series for the first time since the season’s opening week in which they lost their first three series Chicago is now 10-3-2 in 15 series starting April 8.
Steve Cishek recorded his fifth save with a perfect ninth inning. Cishek took a blown save in his last appearance against the Reds, but he’s pitched scoreless ball in 10 of his 11 outings this month. He’ll keep getting saves until Pedro Strop returns.
Joe Maddon said Strop (hamstring) felt good after throwing one inning for Triple-A Iowa in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment. Strop was scheduled to throw another inning for Iowa on Thursday and could come off the injured list this weekend.
Kyle Schwarber hit his 10th homer leading off Wednesday’s game against the Astros’ Wade Miley. Kris Bryant was in the lineup after missing the previous two games with head/neck soreness. He hit a solo homer.
Yu Darvish (2-3) allowed six runs on 12 hits (including three homers) over seven innings in a no-decision against the Reds on Saturday. He walked two and struck out five. Darvish gave the Cubs plenty of innings, but they weren’t particularly good ones. He gave up two runs in the second, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and one more in the eighth before eventually getting pulled. The Reds had at least one runner reach base in each of his innings. The Cubs’ offense did its job, however, and Chicago was able to pull out with the win despite Darvish’s ERA rising to 5.40.
Darvish will be making his second career start against the Cardinals. He allowed five runs on six hits in 4.0 innings, May 4 at Wrigley Field and took a no-decision in the Cubs’ 6-5 win.
Why Bet on St. Louis?
While the Cubs were off Thursday, the Cardinals were losing yet another series, this time in Philadelphia. Entering Thursday, the Cards were 7-18 in May after posting an 18-7 mark in the month of April. They last lost 18 May games in 1980 (8-18) and went just 9-20 in May of 1978. The Cardinals have gone winless (0-7-1) in eight consecutive series, their longest winless series streak since going 0-4-4 over a stretch of eight-straight series from Aug. 14-Sept. 6, 1990. Not since 1919 had the Cardinals gone this late in the month of May without winning consecutive games. That year, the Cardinals went on a 4-game win streak May 27-30.
Yadier Molina remained out of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Thursday afternoon. Molina is working through a bruised right hand and took a second consecutive day of rest.
Miles Mikolas (4-5) took the loss last Friday as the Cardinals fell 5-2 to Atlanta, allowing three runs on seven hits over seven innings while striking out a season-high nine. The right-hander came through with his sixth quality start of the season, but he also served up two more homers — Mikolas has been taken deep 12 times in 62.1 innings so far this year (1.7 HR/9) after giving up only 16 in 200.2 innings in 2018 (0.7 HR/9). He’ll take a 4.76 ERA and 46:10 K:BB into Friday.
The Cards tweaked their rotation so Mikolas would open their series against the Cubs and pitch at home, where he has a 3.15 ERA. Against the Cubs in 2018, Mikolas led MLB in wins (3), and ranked third in ERA (1.38), and T3rd in starts (4). His lifetime 1.32 ERA vs. Chicago is the 2nd-lowest mark all-time among Cardinals pitchers in franchise history, trailing only John Tudor (1.15) (minimum 4 starts). Mikolas has not suffered a losing decision vs. Cubs, but the Cardinals did lose his start on 7/22/18 at Wrigley Field.
Cubs vs Cardinals MLB Betting Trends
- Cubs are 5-2 in Darvish’s last 7 starts vs. National League Central.
- Cardinals are 10-4 in Mikolas’ last 14 home starts.]
- Cardinals are 0-7 in their last 7 Friday games.
- Cardinals are 10-2 in Mikolas’ last 12 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in St. Louis.
- Cubs are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Expert MLB Prediction for Cubs vs Cardinals
Cardinals 5, Cubs 4