Live Road Dogs in Chicago: Bet Wacha & Cards +106 vs. Cubs

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 12:38 PM GMT

Before placing your MLB picks, ask yourself, will St. Louis bounce back after being swept in a doubleheader on Tuesday? Can the Cubs move to ten games above .500 for the first time since 2008?

Cards and Cubs in Series Finale at Wrigley Field
The Cubs and Cardinals will conclude their four game series at Wrigley Field tonight with the first pitch slated for 8:05 PM ET. The Cardinals captured the series opener on Monday but were swept in yesterday’s doubleheader. By virtue of Tuesday’s results, the Cubs moved to within 7.5 games of first place St. Louis in the NL Central. St. Louis is 8-4 versus the Cubs in 2015.

 

Starting Pitchers
Michael Wacha gets the starting assignment tonight for St. Louis. Wacha has gone 12-4 in his team starts this season with a very good 2.66 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Wacha has gone a perfect 7-0 in his team starts on the road in 2015 when the total is 7.5 or less. St. Louis won those seven by a decisive average of 3.8 runs per game.  The Cardinals right-hander has made five career starts versus the Cubs since 2013, and he posted a solid 2.97 ERA in those outings.

The Cubs will turn to right-hander Jason Hammel on Wednesday. Despite his record appearing to be average, Hammel has pitched extremely well in 2015, compiling a stellar 2.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and has a nearly a 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio in sixteen starts. However, Hammel has made three starts versus St. Louis since 2014, and wasn’t effective in any of those outings, evidenced by a large 7.05 ERA, and the Cubs went 0-3.

 

Cardinals Update
St. Louis is a lights out 31-9 at home this season, and aren’t quite as dominant on the road where they’ve gone 23-19.  The Cardinals have gone a tremendous 18-2 in 2015 when facing a National League starting pitcher with an ERA of 3.50 or less.

 

Cubs Report
The Cubs are 7-2 in their last nine games heading into today. They alleviated some recent offensive struggles by scoring a combined 12 runs in Tuesday’s doubleheader sweep of their division rival. They’re now 24-17 at home this year, and have gone 26-13-2 under the total at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are currently 46-37, and with a win today can move to 10 games above .500 for the first time since 2008.

 

Final Analysis
The Cardinals have lost three or more games in a row just twice during the first half of the season. I like their chances of preventing that from occurring for a third time today. Both of these starting pitchers for tonight have pitched very well in 2015. However, Jason Hammel’s struggles against the Cardinals lead me to give the edge to Michael Wacha in that regard. I’m siding with the road team in this matchup, and that will be one of my MLB picks on Wednesday. Pinnacle has the most favorable money line price on St. Louis at the time of this writing.

MLB Picks: Play St. Louis +106 at BookMaker