John Lackey (1-1, 3.69 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.84 ERA) start in the last of a four-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals (20-7) and the Chicago Cubs (14-12) at Busch Stadium. The Cubs won the last game 6-5 and St. Louis leads the series 2-1. Action begins at 1:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, May. 7 and can be seen on CSN-CHI and FSN-MW.
Lackey pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out four and walking three in a 2-1 defeat to the Pirates. Matt Holliday (.344, 14 Rs, 1 HR, 14 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. Arrieta is 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA against the Cardinals in his career. He takes on a good St. Louis offense that's batting .272. Anthony Rizzo (.341, 22 Rs, 5 HRs, 15 RBIs, 7 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Cubs, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs.
St. Louis is a -120 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 +1,278 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 17-4. St. Louis is an impressive 8-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Cardinals have no trouble scoring as they rank second in the NL in home offense with 5.0 runs per game. The Cardinals are one of the best in the NL in terms of hits at home with an impressive 9.4 per game. Crossing over to the pitching staff, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Cardinals, who have a team ERA of only 2.46. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Cardinals, who rank fifth in the NL in strikeouts per game with 8.2.
In games where it is the underdog, Chicago has a 6-5 record and an overall money line of -90. They are 4-4 as the underdog against teams in their division, and 10-9 SU. The Cubs are tough outs for opponents, leading the NL with 9.6 hits per road game. The Cubs are an excellent base stealing team with 28 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB.
The Cardinals lead the season series, 3-2. The Cardinals have a great 11-1 record at home (17-4 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Arrieta takes the mound. Lackey (RHP) will be on the hill against the Cubs, who have an 11-9 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
The Cardinals hold a 15-5 record in matchups against NL Central rivals, while the Cubs currently sit at 11-9 in these games.
For the seventh time this season, the Cubs registered at least two errors in a game.
When the Cubs play into extra innings, they have a 4-0 record. The Cardinals are 4-1 when their games exceed nine innings.
The Cubs managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Cardinals who are heading in with a 9-5 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 13-5. The Cubs have a 9-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 18th, Chicago sits in the bottom half of the league in runs, scoring 113 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top half at 13th with 121.
St. Louis and Chicago both rank in the top 10 of the league in walks. St. Louis sits at eighth with 94 this season and Chicago ranks 10th with 93.
The Cardinals are 11-3 when they hit at least one home run. The Cubs perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 10-3 record.