Marcus Stroman will get the start for the Cubs (45-50, 24-25 home) as they host the Cardinals (43-53, 21-27 away) at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals will give the starting nod to Steven Matz. Check out my prediction for game one of this NL Central matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.


The Pick: Chicago Cubs -131

This game will be played at Wrigley Field at 8:05 ET on Thursday, July 20th.


  • The Cubs have been playing well of late, rattling off two contests.
  • Chicago is on a two game winning streak when favored on the moneyline.
  • Across Marcus Stroman’s 20 starts, the Cubs have put together a record of 11-9.


The Cardinals will be looking for their 6th straight win in today’s game and have an overall record of 43-53. At home, St. Louis has put together a record of 22-26 while going 21-27 on the road. Currently, they are in 4th place in the NL Central.

Steven Matz has had a tough season thus far, entering the game with an overall record of 0-7 and an ERA of 4.86. On the road, he has posted a 0-3 record and 5.23 ERA in nine appearances. At home, Matz has gone 0-4 with a 4.41 ERA in his outings. His WHIP for the season is 1.51, while opponents have hit .274 against him and slugged .425.

Steven Matz was unable to factor into the decision in his last outing, as the Cardinals emerged victorious by a score of 9-6 over the Nationals. The lefty allowed four hits and four earned runs across 4 1/3 innings of work. Despite not getting the win, Matz’s season has been impressive thus far.

Offensively, St. Louis is ranked 11th in the league with an average of 4.7 runs per game. When looking over their last five matchups, the Cardinals averaged 6.8 runs per contest, which is 4th best in that span. In terms of their power numbers, St. Louis is 6th in all of baseball, with a total of 131 home runs.

Nolan Gorman has been a major contributor to the Cardinals’ offense this season, leading the team in home runs with 19. He has hit two over the last five games and boasts a batting average of .242.


Entering game 96 of their season, the Cubs are 7.5 games out in the NL Central and are in 3rd place. So far, their overall series record stands at 13-12-4. Chicago’s road winning percent is currently 45.7% (21-25) compared to 49.0% at home (24-25).

Marcus Stroman has had a successful season thus far, entering with a 10-6 record. He has made 21 appearances, boasting an impressive ERA of 2.88 and allowing a batting average of just .197. On the road, Stroman is 4-2 with an ERA of 4.41; at home, he’s 6-4 with an ERA of 2.97. Opposing teams have struggled to hit him, managing only a .274 slugging percentage against him this season.

Marcus Stroman earned a quality start and the win in his previous outing against the Red Sox, as the Cubs ultimately took the game 10-4. The right-hander held Boston to one run and three hits over six innings of work.

Having gone deep 15 times in their last ten games, the Cubs are 4th in that span. At 4.8 runs per game, Chicago is 10th in the league. This figure has come on a team batting average of .251 while hitting a total of 106 home runs (16th).

The Cubs have seen Cody Bellinger lead the way in home runs over their last ten games, with a total of five. Bellinger’s season-long tally of 12 long balls puts him at the top of the team’s leaderboard. The slugger also boasts an impressive .311