Arguably the National League’s best rivalry is renewed for the first time since the start of the season on Friday as the Chicago Cubs head to St. Louis. For Chicago, they’re coming off a series against the Colorado Rockies, which they lost at 1-2. For St. Louis, they had a series against the Marlins, sweeping them in every game, ending it at 3-0 . The Cubbies are in a funk while their rivals have taken over the lead in the NL Central and will be favorite in the MLB lines for this game.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals MLB Betting Pick & Prediction
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 10, 2017
When: Friday, May 12, 8:15 PM ET
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Probable pitchers (away/home): Eddie Butler/Mike Leake
TV: MLB Network
Radio: Chicago / St. Louis
Opening MLB Lines: Cardinals favored by TBA
Why Bet On Chicago?
The Cubs have dropped five of six to slip back to .500. They were swept three games at home last weekend by the Yankees and then lost two of three in Colorado to start this week. The Cubs were no-hit by Rockies unknown German Marquez for six innings in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss. Marquez walked Kyle Schwarber in the first and retired 16 straight before Kris Bryant’s hit to left. Marquez had a 7.31 ERA coming into the game.
The Cubs played without a couple of regulars who should be back here. Addison Russell was scratched from the Cubs’ lineup Wednesday due to shoulder soreness. The severity of the issue is unclear. First baseman Anthony Rizzo got the game off. Rizzo is hitting just .218. He has posted just three hits over his past 29 at-bats (.103) with one extra-base hit (a double) and only one RBI while striking out seven times. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon thinks he knows why his team is off to a mediocre start.
“I sense sleep deprivation more than anything,” Maddon said. “Sleep deprivation has a lot to do with it. Right from the beginning of the year our schedule has been awkward. No one has had a chance to settle in.”
In the span of eight days, recently, the Cubs played two Sunday night affairs followed by overnight travel plus a 13-inning and 18-inning game. The Cubs rank third in pitching in the National League, but that number is deceptive. Their bullpen has pitched so many innings it’s helping their overall ERA (3.89), but the starting staff ranks ninth in the NL with a 4.62 ERA.
The starter for Friday isn’t a sure thing yet but it’s likely to be Eddie Butler, who would be called up from Triple-A. The Cubs have a hole at the No. 5 spot with Brett Anderson’s injury. If it’s Butler, ace Jon Lester would be moved back to Saturday. Maddon acknowledged that Lester’s 120-pitch outing last Sunday could factor into the Cubs’ plans.
Butler (1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in five starts for Iowa) last pitched Saturday. It would be his first start since being acquired from the Rockies in a trade in February. The Cubs’ other option would be lefty Mike Montgomery, who has been stretched in recent relief outings and said he’s prepared to start if asked.
Why Bet On St. Louis?
The Cardinals are playing their best baseball of the season. They have turned a 3-9 hole into a division lead. Will the surging Cards have former Cubs outfielder and leadoff man Dexter Fowler in the lineup? Fowler outfielder hasn’ started since last Thursday due to a sore right shoulder but has pinch-hit a few times.
Third baseman Jhonny Peralta (illness) went 0-for- 3 as the DH in an extended spring training game Tuesday. Peralta had a bad allergic reaction to medication he was given for an upper respiratory infection and the veteran third baseman is still working back into shape.
Peralta has lost his job regardless to Jedd Gyorko, who has swatted the third-highest rate of home runs since 2016. Oakland Athletics slugger Khris Davis leads the pack with 12.9 at-bats per home run. Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton checks in third, at 14.08. Since Gyorko joined the Cardinals, he’s sent a ball out of a stadium once every 13.69 at-bats. He’s smacked 36 homers in 155 games. Gyorko’s .333 average leads all Cardinals who have had more than 20 at-bats. His .386 on-base percentage ranks second, behind Matt Carpenter’s .425. His .634 slugging percentage ranks first. It all adds up to a team-best 1.021 OPS.
The Cardinals are leading the NL with their .432 pinch-hit batting average, and are tied with the Cubs for 2nd with 19 pinch-hits, trailing only the LA Dodgers who have 22. Matt Adams is currently the majors co-leader in pinch hits with six, batting .400 (6-for- 15) off the bench.
It’s Mike Leake (4-1, 1.79) on the mound for St. Louis and he leads the National League in ERA. Leake won after giving up three runs on three hits (one homer) and two walks with two strikeouts over seven innings Saturday against the Braves. Leake had his 55-inning homerless streak snapped in his last start, but he’s 6-for- 6 in the quality start department and continues to be the team’s most consistent starter. He’s pitched into the seventh in four of six starts.
Redbird starting pitchers have combined for a 3.42 ERA (189.2 IP/72 ER), 2nd in the NL behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (3.36). The starters have produced 19 quality starts, winning 14 of those games.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals MLB Betting Pick: Cubs
Leake is not this good and struggled vs. the Cubs last year, but ride the hot hand while you can.