Cubs the Right Play to Close Out Set With Cardinals on Sunday

Chicago Cubs players gathered around

Willie Bee

Sunday, July 23, 2017 1:19 PM GMT

Sunday, Jul. 23, 2017 1:19 PM GMT

Cubs fans get their first look at Jose Quintana tonight when the southpaw takes the mound at Wrigley as a pronounced favorite on the MLB odds against the Cardinals.

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Cardinals vs Cubs

After two matinees in Wrigleyville, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs get prime-time attention from ESPN in the rubber match of their series. It’s a dandy of a pair on the mound with Michael Wacha (7-3, 3.71) going for the Cards opposite Chicago’s newest arm, Jose Quintana (5-8, 4.20), though MLB odds for the clash suggest a lopsided matchup with Chicago -170 chalk.

St. Louis exploded for nine runs in the eighth inning Friday to take the series opener, 11-4. The eighth was the big inning again Saturday when the clubs combined for all of the scoring in a 3-2 Chicago decision, Bookmaker closing the Cubs -155. Chicago now leads the season series by a 7-4 margin with totals 2-3 O/U in the games at Wrigley.

Quintana Aims To Win 3rd-Straight Vs. Redbirds
Wacha has certainly found a groove the past month with the Cards winning his last five starts and the former Texas Aggie pitching to a 1.46 ERA and allowing no homers in that span. He was brilliant this past Tuesday with a 3-hit shutout at the Mets, Wacha’s first career complete game. He was not so brilliant at Wrigley in early-June (4.1 IP, 6 ER), his only appearance vs. the Cubs this season, and Anthony Rizzo has owned him with 15 hits in 31 at bats (.484), three of those knocks heading over the fence.

Speaking of brilliance, Quintana got his Cubs career off to a great start last Sunday after coming over from the White Sox in a trade. The Colombian blanked the Orioles over seven innings in Baltimore, surrendering just three hits without a walk along with 12 strikeouts.  from the White Sox. Quintana faced the Cardinals twice while a member of the Pale Hose, winning each start and allowing two earned runs in 11.1 frames.

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Chicago native Dan Bellino dons the mask for Sunday’s contest, bringing a strong ‘under’ tendency into the matchup with a 3-12-3 O/U/P record on the season. This will be his third plate assignment at Wrigley in 2017, the previous two splitting the totals while the Cubs also split the decisions.

It’s not exactly going to be a Chamber of Commerce day on the North Side, but there’s nothing in the forecast to prevent the game from being played. A humid 79° under cloudy skies is the prediction for first pitch, the pitchers catching a little break with a light northerly breeze (in from left). I’m banking on Chicago’s recent good run with a run-line play for my free baseball pick.

MLB Free Pick: Cubs -1½ (-110)

 


Season: 48-54-1 (-4.25)
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