After having their game on Wednesday postponed due to rain, the Chicago Cubs (41-61) and St. Louis Cardinals (55-48) will square off in a day-night doubleheader on Thursday. Being played at Busch Stadium, the day game will start at 1:15 pm ET, while the first pitch in the night game will be at 7:45 pm ET.
In the first game of this series, on Tuesday, the Cardinals won easily 6-0 over the Cubs. In the win, Adam Wainwright threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just six hits, and struck out four.
Offensively, the Cardinals mashed three home runs by Dylan Carlson, Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado. Goldschmidt ended the day two for three with three runs batted in.
For the Cubs, Keegan Thompson was roughed up, giving up five runs on ten hits in just 4.2 innings of work.
The Cubs were able to pick up seven hits but could not manage to get any runs pushed across. Yan Gomes was the only Cub who had a multi-hit day with two hits.
In the first game, the Cardinals are the favorites playing at home. They are -162 to win while the Cubs’ moneyline sits at +136. The runline features Chicago +1.5 (-152), and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.
As of early Thursday morning, the odds for the evening game have not been posted, likely due to the fact the Cubs haven’t announced their starter for the second game.
Cubs Look To Take Down Rivals
One of the greatest rivalries in professional baseball is that of the Cubs and the Cardinals. In 2,479 total meetings, the Cubs are 1,257-1,200-18 during the regular season and 3-1 in the postseason all-time. On Thursday, they will try to add a couple more tallies to their win total.
Starting the first game for the Cubs will be righty Marcus Stroman. In 13 games this season, Stroman is 3-5 with a 3.99 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and has 62 strikeouts in 67.2 innings of work.
In his last three starts combined, Stroman has allowed just two earned runs in 16.1 innings. He has allowed 14 hits and struck out 14 over that span.
Offensively, the Cubs decided to hold onto two of their best weapons at the trade deadline. Both Willson Contreras (.253 avg, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 51 R) and Ian Happ (.276 avg, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 45 R) have had nice seasons. Patrick Wisdom leads in the power department for Chicago.
Despite hitting just .224/.317/.451, he leads the team in home runs (19), runs batted in (50), and is tied for the lead in runs scored (51).
Cardinals Look To Keep Busch Stadium Dominance
At 55-48, the Cardinals currently sit in second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Brewers. On Thursday, they will try to use their home field advantage, where they are 30-20 versus 25-28 on the road, to pick up a couple more wins and chip away at their divisional deficit.
Taking the mound in the first game for St. Louis is righty Miles Mikolas. In 21 games, he is 8-8 with a 2.86 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and has 100 strikeouts in 132.1 innings. He picked up the win in his last start, giving up just two runs in seven innings to the Nationals.
In the night game, the Cardinals will debut trade deadline acquisition Jose Quintana. Acquired from the Pirates, Quintana is 3-5 in 20 games with a 3.50 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and has 89 strikeouts in 103 innings this season. He hasn’t given up an earned run in his last 12.2 innings.
Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have been the offensive stars this year for St. Louis. Goldschmidt is the favorite to win the NL MVP at -125 as he is hitting .332/.412/.611 with a team-leading 25 home runs, 81 runs batted in, and 70 runs scored.
For Arenado, he is hitting .292/.359/.532 with 20 home runs, 61 runs batted in, and 46 runs scored.
Take Cardinals x 2
While these two teams always seem to match up in great battles, there is just too much to like for the Cardinals in this one.
First, St. Louis plays really well at home (30-20) compared to on the road (25-28). On the flip side, the Cubs have struggled to win road games at just 21-29.
Also, the Cardinals have just played better on both sides of the ball this year. Their team ERA is 3.81, good for ninth in the majors (3.36 at home). The Cubs slip to 25th with a 4.38 ERA (4.58 on the road).
In terms of offense, the Cardinals rank sixth in scoring, averaging 4.63 runs per game (4.76 at home). The Cubs rank 21st averaging 4.20 runs per game (4.14 on the road).
When it is all said and done, expect the Cardinals to continue the momentum they started Tuesday as they will make a clean sweep of the doubleheader on Thursday.