In the last of a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals (87-50) and the Chicago Cubs (79-57) at Busch Stadium, Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.04 ERA) and Jon Lester (9-10, 3.59 ERA) get the start. The Cubs won the last game 8-5 and Chicago leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 1:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sep. 9 and will air on CSCh and FSMW.
In his most recent outing, Martinez pitched 5.0 innings, allowing four runs, striking out five and walking three in a 9-3 loss to the Pirates. The Cubs were victorious over the Diamondbacks 14-5 the last time Lester pitched. He went 5.0 innings, allowing two runs, striking out three and walking two. Anthony Rizzo (.283, 79 Rs, 28 HRs, 84 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
St. Louis, a -122 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Chicago. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at seven runs. The Cardinals have a winning record of 73-32 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +2,568. They have performed well against their division to earn an SU record of 33-21 and a 27-13 record when they were the favorite. St. Louis's pitching staff can be considered for best in its league, with an NL-low 2.76 team ERA. The Cardinals are fourth in the NL in hits allowed with just 8.4 per game. An area where the Cardinals are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.1 K's per game.
Switching gears, the Cubs come into this game with a win percentage of .467 when playing as the underdog (21-24) and an overall money line of +1,029. Against divisional foes, they are 31-24 SU, but have a 9-12 record when they were an underdog to win. The Cubs average 3.5 walks per game, making them the most disciplined team in the NL. The Cubs are a problem for opposing batters, sporting a 3.55 ERA on the road this season. They have a WHIP of 1.20, fifth best in the MLB.
The Cardinals have gotten the best of the Cubs in head-to-head matchups this season, going 9-5. This game will feature Lester (LHP) on the mound against the Cardinals, who have a 19-16 record when they take on a left-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Martinez. They sport a 63-44 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 33-21 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Cubs currently sit at 31-24 in these games.
The Cardinals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cubs who are coming in with a 43-16 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
It looks like the Cubs have a slight leg up on the Cardinals, as the Cubs have won their last four games while the Cardinals have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 53-15. The Cubs have a 52-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 21st in runs, St. Louis has earned 551 this season. Chicago ranks 15th with 573 runs.
Ranking first in walks, Chicago has earned 471 this season. St. Louis ranks seventh with 421 walks.
When the Cardinals hit at least one home run, they are 57-22, well-matched with the Cubs who are 56-25 when hitting one or more homers.