Cubs Are Slight MLB Betting Favorites Against Cardinals on Friday
It’s now officially panic time for fans and backers of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. They are two games under .500 and were just swept on a six-game West Coast trip. Perhaps returning to Wrigley Field on Friday vs. the rival Cardinals will fix things. Chicago is coming off a horrible 3 games series against the San Diego Padres, in which they lost every single game. For the Cardinals, they end a 4 game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers today, which they currently are losing at 1-2. The Cubs are likely to be slight favorites.
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs MLB Betting Preview & Game Info
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 1, 2017
Why Bet On St. Louis?
While the Cubs were off Thursday, the Cards finished a four-game home series vs. the Dodgers. St. Louis is slumping too. The team has made a change in the bullpen. It released RHP Jonathan Broxton, who 20 appearances, the veteran right-hander had been pitching to a 6.89 ERA, 2.17 WHIP and 16/11 K/BB ratio. While he could potentially latch on with a bullpen-needy club now that he has been released, Broxton has not posted an ERA lower than 4.50 since 2014.
To replace Broxton, who once was a very good closer, the Cardinals recalled LHP John Gant from Triple- A Memphis. Gant is fresh off of injury, having missed the first seven weeks of the season due to a right groin strain. In 50 innings with the Braves last season, the 24-year- old right-hander posted a 4.86 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 49/21 K/BB ratio. He figures to work in middle relief.
Cards third baseman Jedd Gyorko will be placed on the paternity leave list for Friday and Saturday’s games against the Cubs. Gyorko was away from the team on Tuesday for the birth of his first daughter. He played against the Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday, as those games were in St. Louis. Then, off to the paternity leave list for two games before he returns on Sunday.
It’s right-hander Lance Lynn (4-3, 2.93) on the bump. Lynn surrendered four runs on six hits over five innings in Sunday’s loss to the Rockies. Lynn surrendered an RBI ground out to Alexi Amarista in the second inning to put the Cardinals behind 1-0, but it was a three-run homer yielded to Gerardo Parra in the fourth inning which truly put them behind the eight-ball.
Lynn’s season debut was vs. the Cubs on April 6. He took a no-decision, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings.
Why Bet On Chicago?
This team is not right mentally. The Cubs went off on their six-game trip having finished a homestand at 7-2. But they were dominated in being swept by the Dodgers and then, shockingly, to start this week in losing all three at MLB’s worst team, the Padres. Chicago totaled 9 runs in the six games. The Cubs finished their first winless trip of at least six games since Aug. 3-8, 2012, when they also lost three at Los Angeles and three at San Diego.
In Wednesday’s 2-1 loss, the Cubs had only five base-runners. Kyle Schwarber was 0-for- 4 with two strikeouts and is now down to .170 for the season. Addison Russell is hitting .216. Anthony Rizzo .227.
“We’ve gotten punched in the teeth the last two months,” Rizzo said Wednesday. “That’s the way it is. You’re either going to get up, or you’re going to stay down. It’s up to us to decide what we’re going to do. I have full confidence that we’re going to get up and spring and get this thing going sooner than later.”
This is the Cards’ first visit of the season, meaning Dexter Fowler’s first game at Wrigley Field since he signed with St. Louis in free agency. He was a huge part of last year’s title and is badly missed atop the lineup. Fowler will receive his World Series ring in a pregame ceremony on the field.
Former Cardinal John Lackey (4-5, 5.18) is on the mound. Lackey allowed five runs on six hits and four walks while striking out five batters over five innings during Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers. The veteran has now allowed 13 runs — including five home runs — through his past 15.1 innings. His 21.0 HR/FB rate is probably eyeing positive regression, but Lackey’s 5.02 FIP is another discouraging mark.
The Wrigley Field winds have not been kind to Lackey, who is 1-3 with a 5.27 ERA in five home starts.
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs MLB Betting Pick: Cubs
The Cubs have a winning record of 14-11 at home.