First pitch is set for 8:15 pm ET tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. This game can be seen on MLB TV.
They’re That Bad!
Even though Cubs starter, Jason Hammel, has had a spectacular season, the St. Louis Cardinals are still -180 betting favorites according to 5 Dimes Sportsbook while the total for the game is just 6.5 runs.
When general manager, Theo Epstein, came over from a successful franchise in the Boston Red Sox to turn the Cubs around, people were encouraged. Since then, nothing has changed as the Cubs continue to be one of the worst franchises over the past century.
Cubs fans are loyal and people love to go to the games, but it’s not about the “W” where Chicago is concerned.
Surprisingly, the Cubs offense started off the season on a high note, but have gradually fallen apart as they rank 21st in the majors in runs, 25th in batting average, and 26th in on-base percentage.
Jason Hammel will need to pitch well tonight, because Cubs starters rarely get run support; just ask Jeff Samardzija who is pitching like a Cy Young candidate.
While the overrated Anthony Rizzo is hitting just .197 away from Wrigley Field, the Cubs will rely on Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio leads the Cubs in hitting with a .313 batting average. Although he carries no power, Bonifacio has been hot as of late as he’s 6 for 11 in his last 2 games with 5 runs ,1 double, and 1 run batted in.
Look for this game to be a pitcher’s duel as the Cardinals send Michael Wacha (2-3, 2.85) to the mound. Wacha is an above average pitcher that hasn’t received much run support either as the Cards have been struggling. That said, Wacha has been merely average in his last 4 starts, allowing 10 runs in 21 1/3 innings. Wacha hasn’t been going deep into games and hasn’t won since April 13th. The best remedy for the situation is a home game against the Cubs.
When you have players like Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Matt Adams, and Yadier Molina in your starting lineup, you expect to win. In years past, the Cardinals have been divisional leaders, but this year has been a different story. Carlos Beltran, who is playing poorly for the Yankees, is not on the team anymore and the Cards have lacked power and aren’t hitting for average.
This is a team, that’s always relied on Matt Holliday for offense, but Holiday is hitting just .267 with 2 HR and 23 RBI. Allen Craig has been a huge disappointment this season. Last season, Craig was a beast, hitting .315 with nearly 100 RBI on the season while this year he’s hitting just .221 and has been inconsistent. Without Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta, this club would be near the bottom of the division with the Cubs.
Even though the Cubs are a terrible team, the Cardinals don’t deserve to be such a large favorite with Wacha pitching. I’m going to buy a ½ run and bump the total up to 7 runs and take the under with these two ineffective offenses.
MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals/Chicago Cubs Under 7 -146 at 5 Dimes (Buying ½ run)