This game could be low scoring as Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.85 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (48-24) meet Jake Arrieta (7-5, 3.07 ERA) and the Chicago Cubs (39-32) in the first of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. The game starts at 8:15 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 26 and will air on ABC7 and FSN-MW.
Wacha is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA and 1.14 WHIP against the Cubs in his career. Jhonny Peralta (.305, 33 Rs, 11 HRs, 40 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run. In his pitching opportunities against the Cardinals, Arrieta is 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA. He meets a solid St. Louis offense that's batting .265. Anthony Rizzo (.312, 42 Rs, 15 HRs, 43 RBIs, 11 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Cubs, going 3 for 4 yesterday.
St. Louis is a -133 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Cardinals perform well as a favorite with a 38-14 record and have an overall money line of +1,934. 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 2.69 team ERA. The Cardinals don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fifth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out, averaging 8.0 strikeouts per game.
On the other side, the Cubs have a record of 16-13 when they are the underdog and are +388 overall with the money line. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 5-5 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 4-1 record. They have a WHIP of 1.19 on the year, good for third in the league. The Chicago pitching staff has been an intimidating group this year, averaging an NL-best 8.7 strikeouts per game.
The Cardinals have gotten the best of the Cubs in head-to-head matchups this season, going 4-2. This game will feature Arrieta (RHP) on the mound against the Cardinals, who have a 23-4 home and 40-15 overall record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Cubs will be the right-hander Wacha. They sport a 33-28 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals sit at 19-8 against their divisional rivals, while the Cubs are 17-14.
When the Cubs play into extra innings, they have a 9-3 record. The Cardinals are 5-3 when their games exceed nine innings.
Having scored zero runs 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 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Cubs are 7-25. The Cardinals have an 11-16 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 22nd in home runs, St. Louis has hit 60 this season. Chicago ranks 12th with 71 home runs.
Ranking 10th, Chicago is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.39 per game. St. Louis ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.94.
Ranking 18th, Chicago is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.709). St. Louis ranks in the top 10 at 10th with an OPS of .731.
When the Cubs allow at least one home run, they are 22-22. When the Cardinals allow one or more homers, they have a 22-16 record.