The St. Louis Cardinals will host the Chicago Cubs for the finale of this three-game set on Sunday. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Cubs-Cardinals prediction and pick.

This will be the rubber match as these teams have split the first two games of this series. After dropping the first game of the series 12-3, the Cardinals bounced back with a 2-1 victory on Saturday. St. Louis will look to build on their division lead as they're currently three games up on the Cubs in the NL Central coming in.

Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Cubs-Cardinals odds.

MLB Odds: Cubs-Cardinals Odds

Chicago Cubs +1.5 (-167)

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St. Louis Cardinals -1.5 (+147)

Over 8.5 Runs (-122)

Under 8.5 Runs (+102)

 

Why The Cubs Could Cover The Spread

The Chicago Cubs are currently 23-22 and sitting in second place in the NL Central division. Chicago's bats have started to come alive as they possess the 12th-best batting average in the league at .240. The Cubs score 4.7 runs per game, which is good for ninth in the Majors. They've been scoring a ton of runs on the long ball and have seen a few guys in particular really ramp it up. Kris Bryant is currently leading the way with a .307 batting average, .403 on-base percentage, 10 home runs, and 28 RBI.

The Cubs will turn to right-hander Zach Davies in the rubber match. Davies is 2-2 with a 5.58 ERA and 1.76 WHIP coming in. He has been pitching well of late as he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in each of his past three starts to date. Davies is 7-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 19 career starts against the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread

The St. Louis Cardinals currently hold a three-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central division. The Cardinals are 26-19 and have played especially well at home, going 15-9 in 24 games at Busch Stadium. St. Louis has been getting it done in all facets of the game this far. They average 4.4 runs per game, which is good for 16th in the Majors. The Cards possess the 17th-best team batting average at .234. Newly-acquired third-baseman Nolan Arenado has had an immediate impact since coming over from the Rockies in the offseason. Arenado is hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI to date.

The storied veteran starter Adam Wainwright will man the mound in the series finale. The big right-hander is 2-4 with a 4.63 ERA and 1.35 WHIP on the young season. Wainwright has been dominant in his last three starts, going 1-0 with four earned runs allowed over 17.10 innings of work. He is 17-13 with a 4.12 ERA in 51 career appearances against the Chicago Cubs.

Final Cubs-Cardinals Prediction & Pick

This crucial rubber match can honestly go either way. Both offenses are performing and the pitching matchup is equally underwhelming. They have split their last 10 head-to-head games coming in as well. With the Cubs resurgence this month and the Cardinals sustained success at the plate, I give the edge to the hitters in this game. I like the Cubs to win this ballgame, but I see more value in the total of 8.5 runs. One of these two pitchers will get knocked out early and this game will eventually hit over the total.

FINAL PICK: Over 8.5 Runs (-122)