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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/16/13

St. Louis Cardinals (69-50) at Chicago Cubs (52-67)

MLB Baseball: Friday, August 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm (Wrigley Field)

Joe Kelly (R) (3-1) (2.251) vs. Carlos Villanueva (R) (1-7) (4.500)

The Line: Chicago Cubs+128 / St. Louis Cardinals -139 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Midwest, CSN-Chicago

The St Louis Cardinals head to Wrigley Field to tangle with the Chicago Cubs Friday.

The Cardinals have been floundering which is some what surprising given how strong their lineup and rotation is. The Redbirds have dropped to second in the National League Central but might be getting back in the flow of things after Thursday's 6-5, 12 inning victory over Pittsburgh was their third win in four contests. Starter Lance Lynn did not look good with four runs allowed on eight hits and a walk over five innings, before six relievers gave up a single run the rest of the way. The offense totaled 12 hits and walked three times, with Daniel Descalo and Matt Holliday driving in a pair of runs with latter singling in the game winner. The Cardinals kick off their series with the Cubs with Jake Westbrook on the mound. Westbrook has been in struggle mode the last three times out with a total 18 runs allowed in 14.2 innings.

Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Free Pick - 8/16/13

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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Although the Cubs have been much more competitive than they have been in recent memory, their record says they still have a ways to go. Finding a way to beat Cincinnati would be a start after the Reds came to Wrigley and swept the Cubs by a combined 13-4 in a three game set. A 5-0 defeat on Wednesday put the finishing touches on a series where Chicago struggled at both the plate and on the mound. Starter Chris Rusin wasn't to blame with only two runs allowed through six frames, but Carlos Villanueva was with three runs plated on four hits in only two innings. In reality it didn't come down to pitching with the offense managing a mere two singles against Bronson Arroyo. The Cubs turn to newly acquired Jake Arrieta who faces the Cardinals for the first time. Arrieta was oustanding in his only start for the Cubs with one run given up on two hits and three walks versus Milwaukee.

Well, let me start by saying the pitching match up is frightening, so my first thought was take the over. I'm not sure of either side given the pitching so we'll probably see both guys look like Cy Young...

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