We took a frustrating runline loss last night as the Brewers failed to hold a 6-2 lead against the Cincinnati Reds – they still won the game 7-6, but gave away the runline ATS cover in the late innings. I imagine it is of little consequence for the Brew Crew, who kept pace with the winning Cardinals, stayed alive in the NL Central, and they kept pace with the Rockies. It keeps the heat on for all three wildcard contenders (and technically, the Cubs still need to lock up the division).
The Cubs will try to wrap up the division at the Cardinals expense for the second straight night. Can former teammate Dexter Fowler and his Cardinal teammates prevent the champagne from flowing tonight at Busch? A lot of it will depend on Michael Wacha.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs EVEN vs. St. Louis Cardinals EVEN (Total: 9)
John Lackey (11-11, 4.65 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (12-8, 4.00 ERA)
The Cardinals kept the slimming postseason dreams alive last night with a win over the Cubs on ESPN, but can ill-afford even a single misstep in their final five games – and even that might be too little. They need some help from Colorado, but in the meantime, all they can do is handle their side of the equation; WIN.
Michael Wacha might be a good guy to help accomplish that aim. He has allowed only nine runs in his last five starts and the Cardinals are 4-1 in the games he has started. Meanwhile, John Lackey hasn’t made it through the fifth inning in his last two starts and has allowed seventeen earned runs in his last six games; the Cubs going 3-3.
The pitching edge goes to St. Louis. As does the home field. The Cardinals are a solid 43-33 at home this season – a big edge considering they don’t have to leave for the remainder of the season. If they are still alive on Saturday (or even Sunday) playing at Busch will be big.
The Cards have struggled against the Cubs this season, but momentum is as strong as the next day’s pitcher. I’ll take Wacha over Lackey. Wacha’s overall stats for the season aren’t much better than Lackey’s (and his WHIP and BA against are actually worse) but he is better at keeping the ball in the yard. He hasn’t allowed a homerun in his last three outings, while Lackey has allowed four. That could very well be the difference tonight.
Today’s MLB Pick: ST LOUIS CARDINALS TO WIN +100