How To Bet When The Cubs Take Advantage Of St. Louis Home Woes

Jason Hammel during a game standing in the middle of the field

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:49 PM GMT

In spite of 92-51 record, for those betting baseball the Chicago Cubs have mostly been unplayable as oddsmakers have placed inflated prices on them to chase bettors off all season.

This has largely worked for sportsbooks like A-rated Bovada which offers 100% cash bonus, with the Cubs up only +5.4 units in the season. This is bore out in Chicago's 37-16 record when a -200 or larger money line favorite, down -0.3 units in that role.

Tonight, Chicago can clinch a tie for NL Central crown, which they have not done in eight years. For Cubs fans, winning tonight and tomorrow to clinch the division in St. Louis would be special.

For MLB picks I am 34-16, +15.35 units this season and here is how I see this NL Central showdown between the Cubs and the Cardinals

 

Pitching Matchup - Hammel vs. Garcia
Many wondered why Jason Hammel (14-8, 3.50 ERA and 1.19 WHIP) wanted to return to the Cubs after being traded away to Oakland two years ago. This season, the right-hander has shown why he thought that. Hammel has posted a 1.77 ERA at Wrigley Field versus a 5.26 ERA on the road. He is coming off the third horrendous start of the season in which he allowed at least nine runs, all away from home. The 34-year old is only 4-4 lifetime against St. Louis but has only allowed five runs in past three starts at Busch Stadium covering 19 1/3 innings.

Like his teammates, it just has not been Jamie Garcia's year, with a 10-12 record and 4.58 ERA. He's lost his past four decisions and it could have been five, but was bailed out by teammates in 8-5 win at Houston, permitting five runs in five innings. Maybe Garcia is wearing down, having tossed 163 innings, the most he's thrown since 2011, after several injury-plagued years. In the downward trend, 11 of the 22 home runs allowed have come in these five starts. However, the lefty is 3-3 with a stellar 2.22 ERA versus Chicago.

 

Difference Between Teams in 2016
Last year St. Louis won NL Central with 100 wins and the Cubs finished third in the division with incredible 97 victories. What changed this season?

It begins with the starting pitching. The Cardinals for decades have been known for tremendous starting pitching, but they are not even in the Cubs stratosphere, ranked seventh in the NL with 4.25 ERA, compared to Chicago at baseball-best 2.90.

Another big pitching factor which is overlooked is strikeouts. Presently, all five teams in the NL that are the Top 5 in punch-outs would make the postseason. St. Louis is 9th, which means that many more balls which could get through for hits, compared to Joe Maddon's team being 2nd in K's registered.

Offensively, the teams are very similar, with the Cubs at 5.0 runs per game and the Redbirds at 4.9. However, St. Louis has morphed into AL-like team, leading the league with 205 homers, compared to Chicago at 176. This shows Maddon's offense is more versatile and not as dependent on one swing of the bat.

Lastly, taking care of business at home. The Cubs are 51-20, far and away the best in MLB. For the Cardinals, unless they win their remaining last nine home games, they will finish below .500 for the first time in still newer Busch Stadium (2006) with the current 32-40 record.

 

Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The MLB odds opened with Chicago at -125 and total of 8.5. They have since gone to around a Push (-105), with baseball bettors wondering about Hammel. The teams are tied at 7-7 this season, but Chicago is 5-2 at Busch this year, with the UNDER 4-3. The bullpens are almost equal with Cubs at 3.46 ERA and St. Louis at 3.60 and each has 34 saves and 15 blown one's.

 

Game Outcome
The Cardinals home woes are obvious, while Cubbie Blue is 41-31 on the road and 28-16 against left-handed starters. Granted, it is just a Tuesday, but manager Mike Matheny's club is 0-8 in downtown St. Louis on this day of the week in 2016 and when home and the money line is +125 to -125, the Cards are just 4-12. The Cubs take the magic number to one tonight.

 

Free MLB Play: Cubs Win -105
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline, grab their 75% Free Play bonus!

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