MLB odds: Cubs vs. Cardinals prediction, odds, pick, and more
This is a hugely important series for the Cardinals, who have won two of the three games so far. St. Louis is currently 7.5 games behind in the NL Central, so every game will count as they try to run down the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs are in the midst of a disappointing season, already showing themselves to be sellers at the trade deadline. Chicago would still love to help ruin St. Louis’s playoff chances, so this contest will remain competitive.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Thursday’s series finale.
MLB Odds: Cubs-Cardinals Odds
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Chicago Cubs ML (+109)
St. Louis Cardinals ML (-119)
Over 8 runs (-123)
Under 8 runs (+103)
Why The Cubs Could Cover The Spread
The Cubs are essentially an even match with the Cardinals offensively. Both teams rank in the bottom ten in batting average, OBP, OPS, and slugging percentage, with the Cubs taking a slight advantage in OBP and OPS. With Chicago being a bottom-ten offensive team in the MLB, this is about as good of a matchup as they can hope for.
Chicago will send starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay to the mound for Thursday’s game. Alzolay started off the season strong but his recent performances have been less than inspiring. He has faced the Cardinals once this season, pitching seven innings and only allowing two runs.
There’s another factor that is going in Alzolay’s direction. The Cardinals are slightly worse against right-handed pitching, seeing a drop in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage when facing a righty.
Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread
As previously mentioned, the Cardinals aren’t very good at the plate. When they win, it’s usually off of the strength of their pitching. Starter Kwang Hyun Kim will take the mound in this important series finale, giving St. Louis a great chance to take this game.
Kim has been great all season, but his last seven games have been phenomenal. He owns a 1.64 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP over that span. It’s hard to believe that the Cubs, a team that has scored more than four runs once in their last five games, are going to hit Kim well.
There are also a number of factors going in Kim’s direction. He’s already faced Chicago once this season, pitching six scoreless innings in a win. The Cubs struggle at the plate when there’s a righty on the mound, seeing their batting average plummet from .249 to .218. Chicago is also much better offensively when playing in Wrigley Field, as all of their major batting stats take a dive when they play on the road.
Final Cubs-Cardinals Prediction & Pick
With both teams being essentially even offensively, I’m taking the Cardinals. St. Louis has a clear pitching advantage, as Kim has been elite over his last seven games. If the Cardinals can jump out to a lead of any length in the early innings, I expect them to be able to hold onto it. St. Louis should take Thursday’s game and the series.
FINAL PICK: St. Louis Cardinals ML (-119)