The Cubs did what they had to and pulled off a split of the first 2 games of the NLDS in St. Louis. Chicago now throws its Cy Young candidate against the Cardinals in Game 3 Monday evening.
Cardinals-Cubs NLDS Game 3 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds we could find on Chicago with Jake Arrieta was the -205 offered at Bovada, while St. Louis with Michael Wacha was getting +200 at 5Dimes. Also, 5Dimes was now chalking the Cubs at -165 to win this series, with the Cardinals getting +145.
These teams split the first two games of this NLDS in St. Louis, the Cardinals taking the opener last Friday 4-0, Chicago taking Game 2 Saturday 6-3. The Cubbies now get Games 3 and 4 at Wrigley Field.
St. Louis took the season series from Chicago 11 games to eight, with the OVERS going 11-7-1.
Game 3 Pitching Match-Up
Arrieta (23-6, 1.70), even by our tough standards, is 26-for-34 on quality starts this season, working on a ridiculous run of 14 in a row. Last Wednesday he pitched Chicago to victory in the National League wild-card game at Pittsburgh, throwing a complete-game, four-hit shutout, walking none while whiffing 11. And over his last four starts he's allowed zero runs and just 10 hits, with one walk against 38 strikeouts, through 31 innings.
Chicago is 26-8 in Arrieta's starts this season, 14-0 over his last 14 outings, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a lopsided 20-8 margin (with a half-dozen pushes).
In four starts this season against St. Louis Arrieta gave up seven earned runs through 26 innings; the Cubs split those four games, with the UNDERS going 3-1.
Wacha (17-7, 3.38) is 18-for-30 on quality starts, but 0 for his last three. Twelve days ago he got knocked around for six runs in four innings against Pittsburgh, and over his last three starts he's given up 13 runs through 14 innings.
On the season the Cardinals are 21-9 in Wacha's starts, with the OVERS going 16-13.
In four starts this season against Chicago Wacha got clipped for 16 runs through 21 innings; St. Louis managed to split those four games, while all four games played OVER.
Game 3 Batting Splits
St. Louis ranked 13th in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .321 team on-base percentage, and 23rd with a .394 team slugging percentage.
Chicago, meanwhile, ranked 12th against righties with a .321 team OBP and 19th with a .398 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Wrigley Field this season leaned UNDER by a 44-33 margin, as they averaged 7.8 runs per.
NLDS Game 3 Pick
Arrieta looms as a monster, and the crowd at the Friendly Confines should be riled up to a beery froth. This one should be fun to watch. As far as betting this game goes, though, the price on Chicago just seems a bit too steep. If Cardinals hitters can work counts, get Arrietta's pitch count up, then work on the Cubs bullpen, and if they can get five or six decent innings from Wacha, St. Louis has a shot. So for our free MLB pick on Monday's contest we'll take the Cardinals, at the underdog price.
MLB Pick: St. Louis +190 at The Greek