The Cubs and Cardinals are scheduled to play their finale of a 3-game series this afternoon. SBR contributor Ross Benjamin has serious concerns about the weather in St. Louis today. Go inside to get all the pertinent details pertaining to this NL Central matchup.
The Cubs and Cardinals will conclude their 3-game series on Wednesday afternoon. The opening pitch at Busch Stadium in St. Louis is slated for 1:45 PM ET.
These teams split the first 2 games of this series with St. Louis winning 4-3 on Sunday night, and the Cubs coming away with a 2-1 win on Tuesday. Since 2015, Chicago is 12-9 against St. Louis and that includes going 7-4 at Busch Stadium.
Current MLB odds indicate that the Cubs are anywhere from a -125 to -133 money line favorite. The posted total in this game ranges from 7.5 to 8.0.
The weather forecast doesn’t look promising for St. Louis on Wednesday. There’s a 78% chance of thunderstorms predicted at game time, and those conditions are expected to continue throughout the day. I would be extremely surprised if this game is played at all, and at the very least expect prolonged rain delays.
Veteran right-hander John Lackey is scheduled to start for the Cubs today. Lackey was 11-8 in 29 starts last year while posting a stellar 3.35 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The Cubs hurler was much better at Wrigley Field (2.62 ERA) than on the road (4.37 ERA) in 2016. He started 4 times against St. Louis a season ago and had an excellent 2.02 ERA during those outings.
Lackey had an uninspiring April last year in which he compiled a lofty 4.98 ERA during 4 starts. Lackey’s 2017 spring training performances also left much to be desired. His 3 Cactus League starts saw him post a hefty 6.39 ERA during 12 2/3 innings pitched.
Lance Lynn will get the nod for St. Louis on Wednesday. Lynn missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The 29-year-old right-hander was 12-11 with a 3.03 ERA during 31 starts in 2015. The Cardinals were very encouraged by Lynn’s 5 starts in spring training. During those outings, he collected a brilliant 1.20 ERA in 15.0 innings of work. Lynn has proven to be much better in his starts at night compared to day games throughout his MLB career which began in 2011.
I had a similar situation come up on Monday when previewing the Tigers and White Sox game. Weather forecasts called for an extended period of rain in Chicago, and as I predicted the game was subsequently canceled as a result. Nothing has changed for me between then and now. I never make MLB picks on games that have a high probability of being rained out, and today’s NL Central matchup at St. Louis certainly qualifies in that regard.