NL Central rivals that are both looking up at Milwaukee in the division get set to clash in the July 11th Cardinals at Cubs contest. Sunday’s series finale that sends both teams into the all-star break will also be the rubber match with Chicago winning 10-5 on Friday before STL scored the 6-0 shutout on Saturday.
The Cardinals are the slightest -116 favorite (CHI -104) in what oddsmakers are expecting to be a pitcher’s duel with an O/U that opened at 6.5. The wind at Wrigley Field is blowing in at 14 MPH from center, with a light drizzle expected periodically throughout the afternoon. Who gets the edge in this toss-up game?
St. Louis Looks for a Building Block
The All-Star Game is going to present a nice opportunity to reset for St. Louis, who didn’t plan on being sellers at the trade deadline when they brought Nolan Arenado on in the offseason. That’s the spot the Cardinals are in though, going just 5-5 over their last 10 and currently facing an 8.5 game deficit in the Central.
St. Louis did look good on Saturday though, out-hitting the Cubs 11-6 in the 6-0 victory as +103 underdogs. Paul Goldschmidt went yard in that one, and Tommy Edman had a huge 2-run pinch hit bomb. Arenado is just 1-9 in the series so far however.
Taking the series in Wrigley could be a nice building block for the 2nd half for St. Louis. The weather in Chicago favors the pitchers, which gives a great opportunity for another nice outing from Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58 ERA). The right-hander has allowed 2 ER or less in five of his last six starts and tossed 8.0 IP of 1-hit ball vs. the Cubs at the end of May.
Another Offensive Dud for Chicago?
The Cubs have had vastly different offensive outputs so far in the two games this series. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning on Friday and put up 5 in the 7th en route to a 10-5 win as -111 favorites. Those bats were nowhere to be found on Saturday though, as Chicago managed just 6 hits in the 6-0 loss.
What can that offense do against Wainwright in the July 11th Cardinals at Cubs matchup? Chicago managed just 1-hit vs. the St. Louis lefthander back in May, but could get a boost from Ian Happ who is 8-17 (.471) with 4 HRs in his career vs. the Cardinals starter. Don’t expect much from Javy Baez, who is just 5-32 (.156) with 11 Ks vs. Wainwright.
David Ross will counter with Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA) on Sunday and he’s a huge unknown. Williams is making his first start since May 26th, missing over a month after an appendectomy. The right-hander did throw 3.2 IP of relief on Wednesday, but was tagged for 7 runs (3 earned) in a 15-10 loss to the Phillies.
Free July 11th Cardinals at Cubs Pick
The Cubs are 11 games over .500 at home on the year, but this still looks like a matchup where St. Louis should be a much higher priced favorite. Wainwright has been very consistent lately, while Williams is making his first start in roughly six weeks. The weather will be an x-factor here, but the Cards look like a sound play.
Cardinals 6 – Cubs 1
Free Pick: Cardinals -116