Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (87-49) meet Dan Haren (8-9, 3.89 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (78-57) in the first of a three-game division series at Busch Stadium. The game gets underway at 2:15 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 7 and will air on WGN and FSMW.
In his last start, Wacha pitched 6.0 innings, giving up zero runs (four unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 5-4 loss to the Giants. Matt Carpenter (.260, 81 Rs, 21 HRs, 71 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. The Cubs were unsuccessful the last time Haren pitched. He pitched well, going 5.0 innings, allowing two runs, striking out four and walking one in a 5-4 loss to the Reds. Kris Bryant (.267, 77 Rs, 23 HRs, 86 RBIs, 12 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
Oddsmakers have deemed this game an even matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. The Cardinals have an SU record of 33-19 against teams in their division. St. Louis has averaged 5.1 runs per game over the last 10 games, higher than its season average of 4.1. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Cardinals lead the NL in ERA with a 2.69 team average. The Cardinals are fourth in the NL in hits allowed with just 8.3 per game. An area where the Cardinals are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average 8.2 K's per game.
Against teams in their division, the Cubs are 30-24 SU. 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 3.61 ERA on the road this season. They have a WHIP of 1.20 on the year, good for fifth in the league.
The Cardinals had the upper hand against the Cubs in their previous 13 games this season, earning a 9-4 record. The Cardinals will take on a right-hander (Haren) in this game. They have done very well against right-handed starting pitchers this season (68-32), especially at home where they have a 40-12 record. The right-handed Wacha will take the mound against the Cubs, who have a 62-44 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - ChC
The Cardinals hold a 33-20 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Cubs currently sit at 30-24 in these games.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Cardinals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cubs have a 30-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 17-43. The Cardinals have a 22-33 record when opponents outhit them.
St. Louis ranks near the bottom of the league at 22nd when it comes to home runs, hitting 113 this season. Chicago ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 148.
Ranking 15th, Chicago is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.10 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.71.
St. Louis and Chicago both rank in the bottom half of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. St. Louis sits at 19th with an OPS of .716 and Chicago ranks 17th with an OPS of .717.
The Cubs are 37-38 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 35-33 when they allow at least one homer.