Cubs vs. Cardinals

Chicago Cubs (42-64) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (56-50) MLB Betting Lines from BetOnline

Moneyline: Cardinals (-170) Cubs (+160)

Over/Under: 8.5

Starting Pitchers: Cubs (Lopez) vs. Cardinals (Lohse)

The Chicago Cubs continue to give their huge fan base almost nothing to cheer about on a daily basis. The NL Central is a tight battle at the top with no team having run away with the division, but the Cubs are completely out of the race. The Cardinals are just a game and a half back of the Brewers. Not surprisingly, the Cardinals have dominated the Cubs in the season series thus far in 2011. The Cardinals are 5-1 this year against the Cubs. Will it be more of the same on Saturday or can the Cubs upset their hated rivals?

Rodrigo Lopez will be on the mound for the Cubs Saturday afternoon. Lopez has been pretty good in the limited action he has seen with the Cubs this year. He has a solid 3.49 ERA so far this year. Lopez has had trouble in the past with giving up the long ball too often, but he has allowed just five homers in 38 and 2/3 innings so far this year. The Cubs rank eighth in team batting average, but they are just 20th in runs scored. Chicago has had trouble cashing in run scoring opportunities this season. Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney are two youngsters that have been bright spots for the Cubs in 2011.

Kyle Lohse will start for the Cardinals in this one. Lohse is 8-7 with a 3.49 ERA this year, but he has struggled of late. He has allowed at least four runs in six of his last nine starts. The Cardinals offense has been one of the best in baseball this year. Matt Holliday has been consistently great all year. Lance Berkman got off to a great start, but he is dealing with a hamstring injury right now and he may miss this game. Albert Pujols started the year slowly, but he is coming on in a big way of late. The Cardinals are third in the majors in team batting average and fifth in runs scored per game.

Lohse has struggled of late and I think Lopez will regress at some point. The warm weather in the middle of the country should help the ball travel in St. Louis Saturday. I like the over.

MLB Free Pick: Cubs/Cardinals over 8.5