The MLB is set up with a strong day of baseball as we are two days away from the end of the season. Sixteen games are up on the board for Saturday. One of the games will be a matchup between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals still have reason to compete as they try and lock up the division. This game will be at around 7:15 PM Eastern time.
The Cubs have gone 83-77 throughout this season, which has them sitting in third place of the NL Central. Chicago has been eliminated from the playoffs, but can still play spoiler as the Cardinals have still not locked up the division. The Cubs have lost nine of their last ten games and will look to finish the season with a win in this series.
St. Louis has put up a 90-70 record through the regular season, which has them in first place of the NL Central. The Cardinals have won six of their last nine games, but need a couple more to lock up the division. St. Louis is neck and neck with the Milwaukee Brewers in this final stretch, which should add some excitement to this series.
The Cubs and the Cardinals have both had solid seasons so far, but Chicago is going to miss out on the playoffs this season. The Cubs have struggled a bunch in this final stretch, which was their undoing. St. Louis still is looking to lock up the division, which adds quite a bit of importance to this game. I expect a good game on Saturday night.
The Cubs have hosted three series throughout this season. Chicago’s first series at home was the first between these two teams this season. The Cubs were able to sweep the series 3-0. The second series in Chicago was very similar as the Cubs had another 3-0 sweep. The most recent series in Chicago went the opposite way as the Cardinals had a 4-0 sweep on the road.
St. Louis has hosted two series at home earlier in the season. The Cardinals had a 3-0 series sweep in the first series with two one run wins. The second series also went in favor of St. Louis as they had a 2-1 series win with another one run win.
The first game of this series was last night in St. Louis. Matt Carpenter and Ian Happ both had homers to lead to a 1-1 tie at the end of six innings. The Cubs exploded in the seventh inning though, knocking in seven runs. Both starting pitchers had solid nights, but the Cardinals bullpen led to this collapse. Chicago held onto this lead to take the first game of this series 8-2.
Javier Baez has put up a strong season so far. Baez has earned 149 hits, 29 home runs and 85 RBI’s. Kyle Schwarber has posted 130 hits, 37 homers and 91 RBI’s. Jason Heyward has 129 hits, 21 home runs and 62 RBI’s. Willson Contreras has put up 97 hits, 24 homers and 64 RBI’s. Albert Almora, David Bote, Nicholas Castellanos, and Victor Caratini all have double-digit homers on the season as well.
St. Louis has seen a strong season from Paul Goldschmidt. He has put up 151 hits, 33 home runs and 95 RBI’s. Kolten Wong has 136 hits, 11 homers and 59 RBI’s. Paul DeJong has 135 hits, 29 home runs and 77 RBI’s, while Marcell Ozuna has earned 116 hits, 29 homers and 88 RBI’s. Seven other players have double-digit home runs this season.
Chicago is missing two of their best players in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, which has hurt them down this final stretch. The Cubs still have a lot of solid hitters in their lineup though. Both teams have well balanced lineups, but St. Louis has a slight edge as they have avoided the number of injuries that Chicago has been hit with.
Cole Hamels will get the start on the mound for Chicago on Saturday night. Hamels has gone 7-7 through 26 starts on the season. He has put up an ERA of 3.92 and a 1.416 WHIP in those starts. Hamels last start was against the Cincinnati Reds, where he allowed three hits and two runs through three and a thirds innings in a no decision.
Adam Wainwright will be the starting pitcher for St. Louis in this game. Wainwright put up a record of 14-9 through 30 starts this season. He has earned an ERA of 3.98 and a WHIP of 1.392. Wainwright’s last start came against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched five innings and allowed eight hits and five runs to earn his fifth win in a row.
These two pitchers have put up similar stat lines throughout this season. Hamels has a slightly better ERA, while Wainwright’s WHIP is a bit better. Wainwright has been red hot, while Hamels has cooled off a bit later in the season. I believe that if the Cubs can hit off Wainwright early though, they can ride it to victory.
St. Louis lead this overall series 9-8 on the season, but I believe that the Cubs have a good chance to tie it up on Saturday night. The battle on the mound is close and so is the hitting lineups, but I believe that the momentum from last nights win will carry over early for Chicago. If the Cubs can get started early again, I believe that they will pull off another road upset.
BetOnline has St. Louis listed as a -180 against the money line. This implies that the Cardinals will win this game around 64.3 percent of the time. I believe that these two rivals are much closer than this line implies, which gives a lot of value to the Cubs. St. Louis has more to play for right now, but Chicago will not just roll over as they try and play spoiler to their division rivals.