The MLB is set up with a total of seventeen games as four teams will play in double headers. One of the single matchups on the day will be between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. These two teams will battle it out in a NL Central Division battle. I expect a good game between these two teams. They are set to meet at around 7:15 PM Eastern time on Fox.
St. Louis has put up a record of 31-30 to this point in the season, which has them in third place of the NL Central Division. The Cardinals have done a good job keeping pace in this tough division and will need to step it up a bit if they want to climb the division. St. Louis will look to knock off Chicago on Saturday night to help them move a game closer to the top two teams in the division.
The Cubs have earned the top position in the NL Central with a record of 35-27. Chicago is looking like they are in a prime position to make another postseason run this season. The Cubs will look to earn another win on Saturday night to strengthen their lead on the Milwaukee Brewers and the rest of their division.
The Cardinals and the Cubs have both put up positive records to this point in the season as they compete with each other for the NL Central. Both teams are in a tight battle with the Milwaukee Brewers, who are also near the top of the NL Central. This series carries a lot of weight and these teams will look to earn wins in their next two meetings with each other.
The Cardinals and the Cubs met up in a three-game series in Chicago on May 3-5. In the first matchup of the series, Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run home run to help lead the Cubs to a 4-0 win. The second game was back and forth throughout the game, but it was a solo home run by Javier Baez in the bottom of the eighth that broke the lead to give Chicago a 6-5 win. The third game was not nearly as close as the Cubs dominated for a 13-5 win at home.
These two teams met in another three-game series on May 31- June 2 in St. Louis. The first game was a close one that ended with a Matt Carpenter walk-off single to give the Cardinals a 2-1 win. St. Louis had an all-around good performance in the second game as six different players had RBI’s as the Cardinals pulled off a 7-4 win. The final matchup of this series was close as Kolten had a run and an RBI to help give St. Louis the 2-1 win.
The first game of this series was on June 7. Both teams had won three games against each other coming into Friday night’s matchup. Javier Baez got it going early has he hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. Cole Hamels had a great night as he pitched eight innings and only allowed three hits and zero runs. The Cubs were able to close out the ninth and earn a 3-1 win at home.
The home team has won all games in this series so far. These teams have played in a lot of close games though that could’ve gone either way. I believe that these two teams will play another close game on Saturday night. Both teams will look to get it going early to try and control the pace of the game throughout the night.
Paul Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals in hits this season with 62 hits and 12 home runs. Marcell Ozuna has hit a team leading 16 home runs to go with his 56 hits on the season. Ozuna also has 51 RBI’s which leads the team as well. Paul DeJong has the best batting average, hitting at .274 this season.
Javier Baez has been hitting extremely well for the Cubs throughout this season. Baez has 74 hits, 16 home runs, 40 RBI’s and a batting average of .307. Anthony Rizzo has been doing well also this season, getting 60 hits, 44 RBI’s and 16 home runs. Kris Bryant has 59 hits, 13 home runs and 36 RBI’s.
Chicago has the better top hitting players, but St. Louis has a nice balance throughout their lineup. The Cardinals have also found ways to quiet down the Cubs batting order in the past. If they can do that again, I believe that it will help give St. Louis a good chance to pull off the upset.
Jack Flaherty should get the start on the mound for the Cardinals on Saturday night. Flaherty has put up an average ERA of 3.76 and a WHIP of 1.144. He has averaged around 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings this season as well. Flaherty last pitched on June 1 against the Cubs. He pitched five innings and allowed four hits and two runs.
The Cubs will start Jon Lester at the pitching position on Saturday. Lester’s name carries some weight on Chicago as he has played a big role at times since he joined in 2015. He is averaging an ERA of 3.32 and a WHIP of 1.307 throughout the season so far. He averages 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Lester last played on June 3 against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing four hits and one run in seven innings.
These two pitchers have put up similar numbers throughout this season and it should help lead to a good game on Saturday night. Lester has a better ERA this season, but Flaherty has put up a better WHIP and strikeouts per nine innings. Flaherty found a way to get the win in his last performance against the Cubs and will look to do his part again on June 8.
The Cubs found a way to win all of their home games against St. Louis so far this season, but I believe that will end on Saturday night. The battle on the pitchers’ mound will be close, but I like Flaherty to do well in his start and the bullpen to come out strong afterwards to closer out this game. These two teams have played a lot of great games against each other this season and I believe it could go either way on Saturday night.
BetOnline has St. Louis listed as a -108 against the money line. I believe that this is a great spread. This line implies that this game could go either way, giving some value to either side. I like the Cardinals to earn the first road win between these two teams this season, which makes them my pick of the night.