Matchup:St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

Date/Time: July 14th, 8:05 PM ET

Television: ESPN

MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook

Probable Starters: Wainwright (St. Louis) vs. Wood (Chicago)

Moneyline: Cardinals -140

Total: Off

The first half of the 2013 MLB betting season comes to a close on Sunday Night Baseball with the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals duking it out under the lights at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals have had themselves a great first half of the year, but they would really like to make sure that they get into the All-Star break in first place in the NL Central. They're level right now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and they definitely don't want to wrap up this series with a third loss in four games to the lowly (and hated) Cubs. The good news is that their best pitcher, RHP Adam Wainwright is going to be on the bump for this one. Wainwright is one of the team's All-Stars this year, and though he won't be pitching in the game, he certainly had a case to be starting if he were to be. The righty is 12-5 on the season, and he has led to the team to a 13-6 record in his first 19 starts. The splits for Wainwright are just flat out sick as well. He has a 2.30 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. To go with that, Wainwright has 126 strikeouts in 140.2 innings of work, and he only has 14 walks to his credit as well.

The Cubbies are starting to make a bit of a push as we get towards the break, and the argument could be made that a good first week after the break would have this team back in contention. Yes, there are still 14 games to make up to get up to first place in the division, and that isn't going to happen, but if the Reds start to slip in the second half, you never know. We have seen the Dodgers claw back into the thick of the fight in the NL West, so why not the Cubs? They've got LHP Travis Wood pitching to close out the first half of the season, and he is going to hope for a little more luck than what he has been getting all year long. For a man with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, there is no excuse for Wood to only be a 6-6 pitcher. Worse is the fact that the team is only 7-11 in his 18 starts, and he can absolutely thank his offense for that. Chicago is only giving Wood 3.4 runs per game this year, and that isn't going to cut it no matter how good of a pitcher you are.

The Cubs aren't the better of these two teams, but they are playing better ball going into the break. They aren't getting much in the way of respect in this one, but we think they'll earn it by handing Wainwright a relatively rare loss.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs Pick: Chicago Cubs +135