This game could be low scoring as Jon Lester (12-4, 2.93 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (71-41) meet Carlos Martinez (10-7, 3.29 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (60-54) in the first of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs go into this series on a nine-game winning streak. The game gets underway at 8:05 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 11 and will air on CSCh and FSMW.
In his last start, Lester pitched 7.0 innings, giving up two runs and striking out eight in a 7-2 victory over the Athletics. Anthony Rizzo (.288, 69 Rs, 24 HRs, 81 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI. The Cardinals were unsuccessful against the Braves 13-5 the last time Martinez pitched. He went 5.0 innings, allowing seven runs (one unearned), striking out five and walking two. Matt Carpenter (.297, 58 Rs, 15 HRs, 56 RBIs) has been doing well offensively for the Cardinals, going 2 for 3 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and one RBI.
Chicago is a -168 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is unavailable at the moment. The Cubs perform well as a favorite with a 65-33 record, but haven't fared as well with the overall money line (-131). They are 8-1 as the favorite over their last 10 games. The Cubs seem to play better against their division opponents, averaging 6.0 runs per game, well over their season average of 5.0. Chicago's pitching staff has put it all together in the past 10 games. Its average runs allowed per game dropped to 2.1 during that span, compared to its 3.4 season average. The Cubs don't allow many hitters to get on base, leading the league with a 1.108 WHIP.
Across the field, the Cardinals have a record of 17-18 when they are the underdog and are -530 overall with the money line. Against divisional foes, they are 25-20 SU and 6-6 as the underdog. The Cardinals will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent offensive struggles. In their 10 most recent games, St. Louis's run production has dropped to 3.2 runs per game, compared to 5.0 for the duration of the season. The Cardinals are known for their power, smashing 153 home runs. St. Louis's pitching staff has allowed an average of 6.4 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.3.
The Cardinals have gotten the better of the Cubs in head-to-head matchups this season, going 5-4. The Cubs will take on a right-hander (Martinez) in this game and have a 44-30 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The left-handed Lester will take the mound against the Cardinals, who have a 15-19 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - CHC
The Cubs sit at 28-14 against their divisional rivals, while the Cardinals are 26-20.
When leading after seven innings, Chicago is 38-18, while St. Louis is 28-22.
The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Cubs have an 8-8 record when opponents give up one walk or less.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cubs are 59-12. The Cardinals have a 42-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Tied at third for total runs, Chicago and St. Louis have each notched 564 runs this season.
Chicago ranks at the top of the league when it comes to walks with 463 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 391.
When the Cubs hit at least one home run, they are 52-20. When the Cardinals hit at least one homer, they have a 48-33 record.