Cubs Rustle the Cardinals Feathers to Even Series

CH Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals  Series

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 5:07 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017 5:07 PM GMT

If Game 1 of this rivalry was any indication of what this series will be like in 2017, it should be a fascinating time for those betting on baseball. There were clear differences in the Cardinals approach.

Borrowing a page from the Cubs playbook, St. Louis was more patient at the plate and worked the counts, exactly like Joe Maddon's team has the past two years. However, the beauty of baseball brings us two completely different starting pitchers, which not only changes the MLB odds, but a completely different way to look at the game itself.

 

Pitching Matchup - Arrieta vs. Wainwright

It is not Chicago was not confident about their season opener near the Arch, but Jake Arrieta brings results to Busch Stadium that could help their cause. The right-hander was 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA after winning the Cy Young in 2015 and picked up a pair of World Series victories. Arrieta pounds the strike zone to keep the pressure on the hitters and against the Cardinals is 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 13 career regular season starts. Last season, a hitter's batted just .194 against the righty, which was an MLB-low.

At 35, Adam Wainwright no longer has the same velocity or snap on breaking pitches and posted a career-worst 4.62 ERA last year. This does not mean Wainwright is washed up since from May 18-July 21 last season he posted a 2.58 ERA over a dozen starts. Against Chicago, the 6'7 right-hander is 13-8 (Cards 20-11), but he was knocked around in his last trio of starts against the Cubs with a 7.98 ERA.

 

St. Louis Will Look to Keep the Pressure on Chicago

As reported on ESPN Sunday night telecast, when St. Louis acquired Dexter Fowler, one of the first things manager Mike Matheny asked him was what did the Cubs do differently from other major league teams he played for or knew about. While Matheny did not disclose the answers directly, the Cardinals as noted took more pitches to work the count, made a concerted effort to take bigger base-running leads to keep the pressure on the opposing defense and played with the swagger of previous St. Louis teams, just like Chicago have the last two years.

While Chicago was not happy to lose, coming up with a three-run rally to tie the game Sunday was the reason for optimism and going back to the end of spring training, catcher Wilson Contreras has a hot home run bat.

 

Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers

The World Series champs opened as -150 road favorites at Heritage and have been hovering around -145, with a total at Un7.5 (-125). With the win two nights ago, the Redbirds have won 12 of 22 at Busch the last few seasons. Though both bullpens are expected to be strong this season, each failed miserably Sunday night.

 

CH Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals  

It is a given these rivals will be highly motivated to win, yet impossible to ignore how Arrieta and teammates have played away from home and in this price range, sporting a 15-1 record on the road with a money line of -100 to -150 is a great MLB picks.

 

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -137Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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