This game could be low scoring as Carlos Martinez (8-3, 2.89 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (50-24) meet Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (39-34) in the last of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the last game 8-1, extending a five-game winning streak. The game starts at 8:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jun. 28 and will air on ESPN.
Martinez is 0-0 with a 6.43 ERA, 12 strikeouts and eight walks against the Cubs in his career. Kolten Wong (.292, 40 Rs, 9 HRs, 36 RBIs, 6 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two RBIs. In his pitching opportunities against the Cardinals, Hammel is 1-2 with a 6.10 ERA. He gets a solid St. Louis offense that's batting .265. Anthony Rizzo (.306, 42 Rs, 15 HRs, 43 RBIs, 11 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday.
St. Louis is a -135 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Cardinals have a winning record of 40-14 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +2,134. Over the last 10 games, they have a very good record when playing as the favorite (7-3). St. Louis's pitching staff can be considered for best in its league, with an NL-low 2.66 team ERA. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.0 strikeouts per game.
Moving on to the away team, the Cubs come into this game with a win percentage of .533 when playing as the underdog (16-14) and an overall money line of +288. Against divisional foes, they are 17-15 SU and 6-7 as the underdog. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Chicago pitchers. They've allowed 2.6 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 3.8. 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 eight games this season, earning a 6-2 record. This game will feature Hammel (RHP) on the mound against the Cardinals, who have a 24-4 home and 42-15 overall record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Martinez. They sport a 33-29 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 21-8 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Cubs currently sit at 17-16 in these games.
The Cubs are 9-4 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 6-3 in such matchups.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Cubs are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Cardinals have a 24-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 7-26. The Cardinals have a 12-16 record when opponents outhit them.
St. Louis ranks near the bottom of the league at 21st when it comes to home runs, hitting 61 this season. Chicago ranks in the top half at 12th with 71.
Ranking 10th, Chicago is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.43 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.92.
Ranking 18th, Chicago is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.708). St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .733.
The Cubs are 22-23 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Cardinals are 22-16 when they allow at least one homer.