Cardinals Are a Valuable MLB Pick As They Face League Best Cubs In Tonight's NL Showdown

Charles Stark

Monday, April 18, 2016 11:09 AM GMT

Cardinals opened in good shape and are worth considering as your MLB pick for what should be a great series against Cubs.

Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals - MLB Record: 4-5
MLB odds makers have St. Louis at +100, like at Bookmaker. For one of my MLB picks I will back the Cardinals to take this first game against the visiting Cubs. Starting pitcher Mike Leake has not started the season well but should be able to keep Chicago in check.

Chicago Cubs
The Cubs come in 9-3 on the season and rank first and second in the league in run differential and runs per game respectively. John Lackey gets the start and comes in with a career 3.93 ERA and 1.31 whip. He had a tough first outing of the year giving up six earned runs in six innings to Arizona but bounced back giving up just two earned in six against the Reds in his last start. This will be an interesting spot for him pitching against his former team in which he spent two seasons.

The Cubs on offense have been a force to be reckoned with this early in the season hitting .259 as team that ranks 11th in the league and showing a lot of patience averaging 5.64 walks per game which ranks them first in the league. What intrigues me about the Cubs despite their history is that they seem to be pretty deep this year.  Losing Kyle Schwarber was definitely a blow but Jorge Soler should be capable to fill his shoes somewhat. In the last three games the Cubs have put up 1, 6, and then zero runs against Colorado. They could struggle again tonight against an underrated Mike Leake.

St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards come in 7-5 and rank first and second in the league in runs per game and total bases respectively. It doesn’t look like the Cardinals are going to make things easy on the Cubs as this franchise just continues to do one thing, play winning baseball. Offensively, they have been one of the best in the league so far and on top of the two previous stats mentioned they are hitting .281 as a team which ranks seventh in the league and average over 10 hits per game ranking fourth.

Yadier Molina seems to be completely healthy and this team will be more than up to face Lackey and the Cubs tonight. Leake comes in with a career 3.91 ERA and 1.28 whip but like Lackey has not started the season particularly well. In two games against the Pirates and Brewers he gave up four runs in each of those games allowing 15 hits in just over 10 innings of work. He is a grinder though who keeps guys off balance and has a 3.32 ERA in night games his last three seasons. As well, against Chicago he has pitched well in that three year time span going 5-0 with a 2.69 ERA.

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Free MLB Pick: St. Louis +100
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker