St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs Preview
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
When: Sunday, September 25, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
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Betting on the St. Louis Cardinals (+150)
Third-year pitcher Carlos Martinez (15-8, 3.16 ERA), who’s 5-1 in his last six decisions, will get the St. Louis Cardinals’ nod to start Sunday night. The Dominican last started in the Cards’ 5-3 win against the Colorado Rockies on Monday. He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks over five innings in that game.
Pitchers aren’t usually thrilled to face Kris Bryant, Cubs’ star baseman and current MLB leader in runs (119, tied with Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson). Martinez, however, could be a rare exception. In 18 at-bats, Bryant is only batting .167, with three hits and eight strikeouts.
Yadier Molina and Brayan Pena may continue to perform well versus Jon Lester, Cubs’ starting pitcher for Sunday. The two are batting above .300 against the pitcher and have only been struck out thrice in 47 combined at-bats.
As inconsistent as they are throughout the year, they are proving to be a mini kryptonite to the mighty Cubs. The 10-4 win over Chicago Saturday afternoon pushed the Cards’ 2016 record in Wrigley Field to 6-3 (the Cubs have only lost 24 games at home this season).
The Cardinals are 5-2 in their last seven road games.
Betting on the Chicago Cubs (-170)
Stepping up to the mound this Sunday for the Cubs is Jon Lester (18-4, 2.36 ERA). The four-time all-star’s most recent start was Chicago’s 6-1 beating of the Reds on Tuesday. In the game, he allowed just one earned run on five hits and no walks while striking out five over seven efficient innings.
They were winners of four straight (three to the Reds, one to the Cardinals) before the aforementioned loss, all while limiting opponents to two scores or less.
With team and pitching stats telling very interesting stories, fans could be in for a fun season series finale. St. Louis is collectively batting a mediocre .247 opposite Lester, but they have more hits (1341-1338) and homers (213-190) than the Cubs this season. However, keep in mind that the Cubs are allowing the least runs (1063), earned runs (482), and hits (530) in the league.
Chicago could be looking for Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler to ignite runs, as they are both batting .304 against Martinez.
The Cubs are 9-0 in Lester’s last nine starts at home.
Chicago wins (-170), 6-4.
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