St. Louis Cardinals (43-45) vs. Chicago Cubs (43-44)
July 9, 2021 2:20 pm EDT
The Line: Chicago Cubs -172 / St. Louis Cardinals +157 ; Over/Under: 8
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The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs meet Friday in MLB action from Wrigley Field. The Cardinals played the Giants this week, winning the first pair of games before a Wednesday defeat. As for the Cubs, they’re coming off a series versus the Phillies. Chicago lost two of the first three games there, then in the Thursday finale the Cubs lost big in a shutout. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
St. Louis put up wins 5-3 Monday and 6-5 Tuesday versus the Giants, but then took a 5-2 loss on Wednesday. In the defeat, Cardinals starting pitcher Johan Oviedo went 4.0 innings with three hits, four walks, two earned and three strikeouts.
For the starter job in the Friday opener, the Cards will send out Wade LeBlanc. Across his 23.1 innings this year, LeBlanc carries a 4.24 ERA, a 0-1 record and 15 strikeouts in 12 games (three starts). He’s got a 4.54 career ERA with 657 Ks in 905.2 innings of work.
Over on the Cubs’ side, they lost the first two games versus the Phillies 13-3 and 15-10 but then took an 8-3 win on Wednesday. In the Thursday game Chicago gave up four runs in the seventh during an 8-0 shutout defeat. Adbert Alzolay lasted 5.0 innings with four earned on five hits and a walk.
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For the starter job in the Friday game, the Cubs will go with Kyle Hendricks. This year over 98.2 innings Hendricks has 104 hits, 46 runs (42 earned), 20 homers allowed, 19 walks, 79 Ks and a 3.83 ERA.
The Cardinals are 3-8 in their last 11 in game one of a series and 4-13 in their last 17 road games. St. Louis is 1-4 in their last five Friday games and 1-4 in their last five after an off day.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 49-22 in their last 71 home games versus a lefty starter and 80-39 in their last 119 at home versus a team with a losing record. Chicago is 5-17 in their last 22 overall and 1-4 in their last five Friday games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with the Cubs. Chicago got their offense going pretty well at times during the Philly series, but did have some issues giving up runs—as evidenced by the 28 in the first two games. As for the Cards, they’ve scored just two runs in three of their last five games and simply have to get the bats going better if they’re going to be competitive. This should be a great series as usual, but I like Chicago in the opener at least.