The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs will kick off a three game series on Friday evening at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. This is the third series between the division rivals this season. The Cardinals currently lead the head to head matchup 4-1 so far in 2018.
Both the Cubs and Cardinals were expected to be playoff contenders this season, but both teams currently trail the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The Cubs trail the Brewers by 1.5 games, while the Cardinals find themselves 4 games out, and in third place. The St. Louis Cardinals are -107 over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Jose Martinez Leads Cards Offense
The Cardinals have gotten a huge boost this season from veteran, Jose Martinez. Martinez has mostly been a role player for the Cardinals in past seasons, but Mike Matheny can’t seem to take him out of his lineup this season. Martinez leads the team in almost every single offensive category including home runs (10) and runs batted in (42). If the Cardinals are able to stay in the Central Division race, Martinez will be a big reason for that.
St. Louis fans are waiting for Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong to start producing for their beloved Cardinals. Both players have suffered through injuries this season, and neither player is currently hitting over .200 for the season. The Cardinals to struggle runs, and need these two players to step up if they are going to win the division.
Cubs Trying to Catch Brewers
The Cubs are looking to win their third straight NL Central division title, but appear to have stiff competition in the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs lost two out of 3 games against the Brewers in the previous series, after dominating them through their first 9 meetings of the year. The Cubs still remain the favorite to win the Central, but the Brewers aren’t going to make it easy for them.
The Chicago Cubs pitching staff has been their biggest asset so far this season. The pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.17, which ranks as the third best in all of baseball. The Cubs have struggled with injuries to their pitching staff, but continue to get great production from whoever they send to the mound.
Cards Win Behind Wacha
The series opener features a pair of dominant starting pitchers. The Cubs will send veteran Jon Lester to the mound, and he will be opposed by Michael Wacha of the Cardinals. Both pitchers feature a sub 2.50 ERA, and the two have combined for a 15-3 record so far in 2018. Runs may be at a premium on Friday night.
The Cubs have had great success against Wacha in the past, but the Cubs are struggling to score runs right now. St. Louis has taken 4 of the first 5 games against Chicago this season, and swept them in the last series at Busch Stadium. Look for the Cardinals dominance over the Cubs continue, and get a win behind Michael Wacha. Bet the St. Louis Cardinals -107 over the Chicago Cubs.
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