Cubs vs. Cardinals 6/16/18
Where: Busch Stadium
When: June 16th, 2018 8:15PM ET
Moneyline: CUBS -123 / CARDS +113
By Prognosticator Darin Zank
The great Midwestern baseball rivalry continues as the Cubs and Cardinals clash Saturday night at Busch Stadium (8:15 ET, Fox). How are we playing this one with our daily free MLB picks?
The favorite flipped on this game; Saturday’s MLB betting odds opened St. Louis and Carlos Martinez at around -110 over Chicago and Kyle Hendricks, with an over/under of 8.5. But early betting action turned the Cubs into -120 chalk.
The Cubs took the opener of this three-game series Friday night 13-5, winning as -110 favorites on the MLB betting line and covering against the run line at +150. Chicago, bats came alive after getting shut out the last two games of a series in Milwaukee earlier this week, rapping out 14 hits Friday, including three homers.
With the win the Cubs are 2-3 over their last five games; with the loss, the Cardinals are 1-4 over their last five.
St. Louis leads this season series four games to two, with overs going 3-2-1.
At 39-27 Chicago trails division-leading Milwaukee by a game and a half in the NL Central, while at 36-31 St. Louis sits five games back.
On the personnel front, the Cardinals are playing this series without 1B Jose Martinez, who leads the team in batting average, homers and RBI this year.
These two teams are a combined 74-52 on unders this season.
Saturday’s Arms Battle
Martinez (3-3, 2.50) is 6/10 on quality starts this season, but 0 for two since coming off the DL. Eleven days ago he allowed two runs in four innings against Miami, with five walks, and last Sunday he allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings against Cincinnati, with seven walks. St. Louis lost both those games. However, on the season the Cards are 6-4 with Martinez, unders 5-3.
In five starts last year against the Cubs Martinez gave up 14 earned runs over 29 2/3 innings. The Cardinals won four of those five games.
Hendricks (4-6, 3.48) is 6/13 on quality starts, but 0 for his last three because of a short leash. Last Sunday he gave up one run in five innings against Pittsburgh; just before that he gave up five runs in five innings against Philadelphia; but just before that he gave up two runs in five innings against those Pirates. Chicago, thanks to some spotty run support, is only 4-9 with Hendricks this year, while unders are 9-4.
In three starts last year against St. Louis Hendricks gave up five runs over 16 2/3 innings. The Cubs won all three of those games.
We’d give Martinez the handicapping edge in this pitching match-up, but for his recent struggles. For Saturday we’ll call this a wash.
Saturday’s Batting Splits
Chicago ranks 3rd in the Majors against right-handed pitching with a .259 team batting average, No. 1 with a .339 team OBP and 10th with a .416 team slugging percentage.
The Cardinals rank 15th against RH pitching with a .247 BA, 18th with a .314 OBP and 21st with a .392 slugging percentage.
So the Cubs get the handicapping check-mark with the sticks.
The Chicago bullpen ranks 3rd in the ML with a 2.71 ERA and 10th with a 1.22 WHIP.
The St. Louis pen ranks 24th in ERA at 4.45 and 26th in WHIP at 1.42.
So the Cubs get the check-mark in the bullpen comparison, too.
Free MLB Pick
Martinez is an iffy proposition at the moment, as he searches for some past form. And offensively the Cardinals are without their biggest stick. We don’t like going with the betting flow, but we are betting Chicago in this spot. Id you are serious about wagering on baseball you need to play at a betting site that offers dime line betting. Read about where to play: Dimeline Sportsbooks.