The Chicago Cubs have lost two straight while the St. Louis Cardinals have won three in a row. That’s widened the gap between the two teams in the National League Central to 8.5 games. These two teams will square off on Friday night and the Cardinals opened as a small favorite on the MLB betting lines.
Both teams have played relatively well in the month of June as the Cardinals are a healthy 14-7 while the Cubs are 13-9. Only two teams in all of baseball have more wins than the 14 the Cards have put up. Pitching has been the key to both team’s success. The Cardinals lead the league this month with a 2.60 ERA. The Cubs are third in that category (3.02) and are fourth in opponent batting average.
While the two teams have played well in June, on a smaller scale, they are heading in different directions. The Cubs lost the final two games of their four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers while the Cardinals have won three straight and five of six.
The Cubs will send Arrieta to the mound on Friday and they’ve won three of his last four starts. He’s given up a total of just eight runs in the month of June while posting a 2.77 ERA. His numbers are actually better on the road this season than at home. He’s 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA on the road compared to 2-4 and 3.35. Arrieta is coming off his strongest start of the season where he pitched a complete game shutout against the Minnesota Twins. He struck out seven batters and didn’t walk any.
As for Lackey, his splits point to him being a better starter at home than he is at home. He’s 5-1 at home with a 1.81 ERA and opposing batters hit just .272 against him. At home, he’s 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA and .239 opponent batting average. He’s been very steady all season long but he did have one rough outing on June 8th, giving up eight earned runs. However, he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his other 10 starts. He’s made one start against the Cubs this season, giving up 7.2 innings pitched while allowing just one earned run in the 5-1 victory.
What’s The Pick?
The Cardinals are fairly tough to beat at home as they’ve won 26 of 33 games at Busch Stadium. That’s what makes it tempting to lay the short number with them on the MLB odds – especially since the Cubs are just 19-17. They’ve also won three straight games and five of their last six.
The Cardinals are probably a decent pick but I like the under in this spot. Lackey and Arrieta are pitching well these days and Arrieta pitches well on the road and Lackey pitches well at home. Both pitching staffs have been hot this month as well, so I’m expecting a low-scoring affair. Go under with your MLB picks in this spot.
MLB Pick: Under at Bovada