St. Louis (53-28) at Chicago Cubs (44-36)
When: Monday, July 6th, 2015
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET
The St. Louis Cardinals are at it again this year, quietly leading the majors with a 53-28 record after splitting a 4-game series at home with the Padres. Now they go into Wrigley Field to face their rival the Cubs for four games. The Cards are 7-2 so far this year against Chicago including a 3-game sweep last weekend in St. Louis. The Cardinals are doing it without their ace Adam Wainwright. They’re number 1 with a 2.59 ERA and 56 quality starts from their staff. All of their starters have an ERA under 3.00 except for….
…tonight’s starter John Lackey. Now that’s not to say he’s pitching bad, because he is 6-5 with a solid 3.30 ERA. That just goes to show you how dominant the Cardinals are. This will be his third start this year against Chicago. He is 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14.2 innings. The biggest flaw on Lackey’s resume is his road stats. 1-3, 5.40 ERA in 40 innings and has allowed 6 of his 8 home runs away from home.
This is the best Cubs team we’ve seen in a while, but they’re still having trouble beating the Cardinals as we mentioned above. If they were 7-2 against them instead of 2-7, they would be in first place. Much like St. Louis, the Cubs are relying heavily on their pitching. They have a team ERA of 3.32 and a Major League leading 1.17 WHIP. With all the great young bats they have on the roster, they can’t seem to put it all together offensively. They’re hitting a dreadful .240 as a team and they score less than 4 runs a game. They have won 5 of their last 6 overall and have only allowed 5 runs total in those games. This is big series this week for them heading into the All-Star Break.
Jon Lester makes his 17th start tonight and he’s not having the year that Cubs fans had hoped. Still it’s not all that bad. He has a 4-6 record, but that’s due in some part to lack of run support. He’s been brilliant in 3 of his last 4 outings against the Mets, Twins, and Reds. The Dodgers hit him pretty good on June 25th, however. The long ball has been an issue for him. He’s already allowed 10 home runs this year.
The Cubs are pretty heavily favored in this one at -131 and I can’t lay that number until they can prove that they can consistently beat their rival.
Pick: Cardinals +121