St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) at Chicago Cubs (55-38)
|Date & Time||Friday July 20, 2018, 2:20 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Cubs -160 / St. Louis Cardinals +150 --- Over/Under:
Friday afternoon up at historic Wrigley Field, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs will be continuing their MLB series.
In the Thursday opener, the Cubs snagged a high-flying 9-6 win, scoring five runs in the fifth inning.
For Friday’s game, the Cards will be bringing out RHP Jack Flaherty. In his 75.0 innings and 3-4 record this year, Flaherty has a 3.24 ERA with 87 Ks and 24 BBs.
Leading the way for the Cardinals hitters coming into this set were Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez, each with 94 hits. On Thursday, Ozuna put up two hits and an RBI; Martinez got a knock in a pinch-hit role.
Over on the Cubs’ side, they’re rolling with Jon Lester on Friday. Over 111.2 innings and a 12-2 record this year, Lester has a 2.58 ERA with 88 Ks and 41 BBs.
Javier Baez is the only Cubs hitter in triple-digit hits this year, entering play in this series with 100 hits, 61 runs, 19 homers and 72 RBI. On Thursday, Jason Hayward put up three hits, two RBI and two runs.
The Cardinals are 0-5 in their last five in game two of a series and 0-5 in their last five Friday games. St. Louis is also 0-5 in Flaherty’s last five starts and 1-6 in his last seven road starts.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 12-2 in their last 14 in game two of a series and 8-2 in their last 10 Friday games. Chicago is also 13-3 in Lester’s last 16 Friday starts and 52-21 in his last 72 starts.
Flaherty had a run of 11 earned across three starts, but did bounce back in his last outing versus Cincinnati, with zero earned on two hits in 5.0 innings. As for Lester, he’s given up 11 earned over his last four starts but hasn’t lost a game since May 23. I’m going to stick with the Cubs here, because the trends are so overwhelmingly in their favor.