Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69 ERA) and Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.55 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals (87-50) and the Chicago Cubs (79-57) at Busch Stadium. The Cubs won the last game 9-0 and Chicago leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 8:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sep. 8 and can be seen on CSCh and FSMW.
Wacha pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering zero runs (four unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 5-4 defeat to the Giants. Hammel went 5.0 innings, surrendering four runs and striking out four in a 7-4 defeat to the Reds in his last outing. Anthony Rizzo (.283, 79 Rs, 28 HRs, 84 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
St. Louis is a -162 favorite against Chicago and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Cardinals have recorded an overall money line of +2,723 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 73-31. St. Louis is an impressive 5-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. Opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cardinals, who have a team ERA of only 2.72. The Cardinals are the fourth-best team in the NL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.4 hits per game so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cardinals, who rank fourth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.1.
In games where it is the underdog, Chicago has a 20-24 record and an overall money line of +884. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-2 record when playing as the underdog. Chicago is excellent at drawing walks with an NL-best 3.5 per game. Chicago's pitching staff is one of the top in the NL at pitching on the road, with a 3.61 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Cubs are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season. The Cubs have established a reputation of overwhelming hitters with an NL-best 8.7 strikeouts per game.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 9-5. The Cardinals have a great 40-13 record at home (68-33 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Hammel takes the mound. Wacha (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cubs, who have a 62-44 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - StL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals sit at 33-21 against their divisional rivals, while the Cubs are 31-24.
When leading after 7 innings, St. Louis is 31-19, while Chicago is 31-22.
The Chicago batters brought in a solid 12 hits last game. St. Louis has a record of 10-14 when their opponents get that many hits or more.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 17-43. The Cardinals have a 22-34 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 22nd in home runs, St. Louis has hit 113 this season. Chicago ranks eighth with 150 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.10 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.68.
St. Louis and Chicago both rank in the bottom half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. St. Louis sits at 18th with an OPS of .716 and Chicago ranks 17th with an OPS of .719.
The Cubs are 37-38 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 35-34 when they allow at least one homer.