The MLB weekend ends with a rubber match on Sunday night between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. The teams have split the first two games of the series in St. Louis, with the Cubs winning 12-3 on Friday and the Cards taking Saturday’s game 2-1. At home, St. Louis is favored on Sunday with a moneyline of -135, while the Cubs have a moneyline of +115.
The Cubs have slowly picked up steam in May and gained ground in the NL Central standings. They’ve won six of their last nine games, bringing them a game over .500 into Sunday’s game. However, they are three games off the pace in the NL Central and even further out of a Wild Card spot.
Of course, it’s the Cardinals who remain atop the NL Central standings. For St. Louis, May has been a tale of two halves. The Cards won eight of their first ten games to begin the month, although they’ve now lost five of their last nine games, putting them seven games over .500.
The Old Man
Adam Wainwright will try to deliver a series win for the Cards on Sunday night. The 39-year-old is putting together a solid but unspectacular campaign, going 2-4 with a 4.63 ERA over eight starts. He’s allowed three runs or less in five of his eight starts but has been knocked around a few times, including his most recent start against the Padres last weekend.
On the bright side, Wainwright has a strong track record against most of Chicago’s hitters outside of Ian Happ, who has four home runs in just 14 at-bats against the veteran. However, the Cubs are averaging 5.7 runs per game over their last nine games. Happ has been red-hot during that time, hitting four home runs in his last seven games, while Anthony Rizzo and Nico Hoerner have also heated up over the past week.
The Cubs will look to Zach Davies to help them win Sunday’s rubber match. After finishing April with a 9.47 ERA, Davies has posted a 2.11 ERA over his four starts during the month of May. He’s allowed one run or less in three of his last four starts, although he did give up three runs on seven hits in his last start.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have managed just five runs over the first two games of the series and scored four runs or less in seven of their last nine games. Dylan Carlson and Edmund Sosa are the only hitters in the St. Louis lineup who are swinging a good bat at the moment. However, the likes of Nolan Arenado, Yadier Molina, and Matt Carpenter have all posted good career numbers against Davies.
What’s Going to Happ-en?
Ian Happ’s career numbers against Wainwright stick out like a sore thumb. It’s also hard to ignore that Chicago’s bats have heated up recently despite Saturday’s loss while the Cardinals have been sluggish offensively for more than a week. With Davies coming on strong lately and the Cubs having the more lucrative moneyline, taking Chicago offers the most value in this matchup.
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