After the Cubs exploded yesterday it looks like they are well on their way to the NLCS. They have a chance to get there today in front what should be an electric crowd in Chicago.
As of writing this article the MLB odds for this game have not come out so I can only speculate where the number is going to land. Most likely the Cubs will be a slight favorite, but statistically it seems like St. Louis should be favored a little bit. No matter who is favored the juice is not going to be very high either way. For one of your MLB picks I suggest backing the Cardinals to send this game back to St. Louis. I know this is probably not the popular pick, and honestly, I would be pretty happy to see the Cubs win a championship. But the value for me is on the Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals
John Lackey takes the mound for St. Louis and is had a great season with a 2.77 ERA, 1.21 whip, 175 strikeouts, and a 13-10 record. In his game in St. Louis against the Cubs he was lights out allowing just two hits in just over seven innings. He is coming back off a short rest which is probably not such a great thing for most pitchers. But Lackey is a flat out grinder and I think he will pitch well today, not as good as he pitched the first game, but he should be sufficient enough to give the Cardinals a good shot to win. Don't anticipate the Cubs to continue the offensive onslaught from yesterday.
The Cardinals average 4.00 runs per game, have a .715 OPS, and hit a .252 team batting average. Although they got hammered yesterday I was pretty impressed with some of the bats they had against Jake Arrieta. The Cardinals are one of those teams in the league with a don't do anything great offensively, but nothing poor as well. They simply continue to find ways to win. They will work the count and I believe, as mentioned, have a lot of quality at-bats today. Yesterday they were 2-10 with runners in scoring position, and I don't think they repeat that today.
Jason Hammel gets the start for the Cubs and comes in with a 3.74 ERA, 1.16 whip, 172 strikeouts, and a 10-7 record. He has pitched three games against the Cardinals this season and is given up seven earned runs off of 10 hits and 11 innings. You can kind of throw that out the window though being that the atmosphere of this game will be much different, but at the same time, the Cardinals should come in with a lot of confidence.
The Cubs average 4.26 runs per game, have .721 OPS, and hit .244 team batting average. Yesterday they could not keep the ball in Wrigley Field as a just seem like it was home run after home run. Today though they kind of face their nemesis and John Lackey who is been stellar against them all season. After seeing how they had the ball yesterday I can see why the public would want to back the Cubs, but I think the value is backing that they won't have a repeat performance.
Although the line is not out yet at the time of this write up the value in my opinion will lie with the Cardinals. Sometimes it is really hard to know where the odds makers are going to set the line, but on this game no matter who is favored it will only be by a small margin. I expect most of the money to come down the Cubs but I'm going to back the Cardinals here for one of my MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Cardinals +115 at BetOnline