Cubs vs. Cardinals Pick
The Cardinals are set as a -200 favorite to win on the moneyline according to oddsmakers at sports book Bovada.lv. The Cubs are a +170 underdog and the over-under is 8.
Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.14 ERA) will draw the start for Chicago, while St. Louis turns to Lance Lynn (11-8, 3.47). Hendricks holds a 1.20 WHIP with 114 strikeouts over 134 2/3 innings. He gave up one run on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk over six innings in a 4-3 loss at the Brewers his last start. Hendricks has a 3.07 ERA in 58 2/3 road innings. Lynn has a 1.22 WHIP with 148 strikeouts in 181 1/3 innings. He was knocked around for eight earned runs on six hits with one strikeout and two walks in only two-thirds of an inning in an 11-6 loss at the Pirates his last start, watching his ERA to spike upward by a considerable margin from 3.07 before the game started. Lynn carries a 3.02 ERA in 83 1/3 innings at home.
Chicago is 89-69 overall and 43-37 on the road, while St. Louis enters at 82-76 and 43-34 at home. The Cubs have won eight of the last 10 meetings and the over-under is 5-4-1.
On Wednesday night, Chicago clinched its second consecutive NL Central title with a 5-1 victory. Jon Jay went 2-for-4, while Addison Russell was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. John Lackey gave up one earned run and struck out three over six innings to pick up the win. Tommy Pham walked twice, while Paul DeJong was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for St. Louis. Michael Wacha allowed five earned runs in six innings to take the loss.
St. Louis will be eliminated from contention for the second NL Wild Card spot with either a loss in this game or a Colorado win in any of its last three games. But with the Cubs having clinched the NL Central Thursday, they will certainly be resting some key hitters in this game. Lynn is coming off an abysmal start, but it was so out of the ordinary for him it should be chalked up as just one of those days. He should thrive at home against a 'B' lineup. As for Hendricks, he is almost always reliable and in a pitcher's park he should be able to minimize the Cardinals' damage. The case can definitely be made to take a shot at St. Louis on the moneyline or even the run line, but we like the under here with two good starting pitchers and strong bullpens.
MLB DAILY PREDICTION: CUBS/CARDINALS UNDER 8