Division leaders square off when the National League Central leading St. Louis Cardinals face their old manager in Tony LaRussa and the Chicago White Sox, who are in first place in the American League Central. Let’s check out the MLB odds for this game.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago White Sox
Monday, 24 May, 2021 – 8:10PM EDT at Guaranteed Rate Field
A pair of division leaders clash in an interleague series this week. The St. Louis Cardinals, who sit atop the National League Central division, head to the Windy City to face the Chicago White Sox, who are in first place in the American League Central.
The Cardinals are coming off of losing two of three in a home weekend series against the Chicago Cubs, trimming their lead in the NL Central to two games. The White Sox were swept by the Yankees in New York and now lead the AL Central by a game and a half.
The series also features a reunion as former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, now managing the Sox after a retirement and Hall of Fame induction, faces his old team for the first time since his return to the dugout.
Very few current Cardinals were on the team when LaRussa was there, but he said you still “recognize the birds on the bat. I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but once you prepare for the game, once you play the game, you’ve got to tune out the distraction. It’s a good distraction, but you’ve got to tune it out. I’m sure they will, too.”
Looking to Turn Things Up
It’s not panic time by any means, but the Cardinals are struggling through a mini slump. St. Louis scored 3, 2 and 1 runs in the three games against the Cubs and have scored three or fewer in seven of the last 10, while allowing five or more runs in five games over that span.
The Cardinals offense has been sluggish all year. They’re just 12th in the National League in home runs and are out of the top 10 in most offensive categories, including on base percentage and batting average.
Nolan Arenado has been the bright spot at the plate for the Cardinals, with a team-high 10 home runs, including going deep in four straight games last week. He’s 2-for-16 since then, however.
Rookie outfielder Dylan Carlson has been battling back problems that kept him out of the starting lineup for the Cubs series. He’s currently listed as day to day.
The Cardinals, coming off a strong start by Adam Wainwright, will look to keep the pitching momentum going with Kwang Hyun Kim. He is 1-1, 2.73 on the year but gave St. Louis cause for concern the last time out, going just 3.1 innings and tying a career high with three walks, including a pair with the bases loaded.
White Sox Looking to Snap Out of It
Chicago is coming off of three straight losses in New York and have dropped four of their last five, giving up five or more runs in three of them while scoring two or less in three.
The Sox lead the majors in on base percentage but have had a lack of punch in the lineup lately. Andrew Vaughn gave Chicago a bright spot when he hit a pinch-hit home run off closer Aroldis Chapman on Sunday, snapping an 0-for-13 slump. That just set up a second walk-off loss to the Yankees in three games, as the bullpen let the Sox down.
“Losing is never fun,” Vaughn said. “Losing stinks. Definitely not a good feeling, but we get to come at this thing tomorrow. It’s why baseball is so great: It comes right back at you. Get on the plane, get home, get some sleep and be at the ballyard tomorrow.”
Chicago starts former Cardinal Lance Lynn, who was a rookie in LaRussa’s final year with St. Louis. This is just his second time facing his old team and first since 2018. He’s 4-1 this year with a 1.55 ERA.
The White Sox weren’t happy with the losses in New York but were impressed with the “playoff atmosphere.” That could give Chicago a boost coming back home for another series against postseason contenders.
For your MLB pick, take into account that the Sox have the best rotation in baseball, and Lynn should be able to prolong the Cardinals’ hitting slump for at least one more game.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.