St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs Betting Preview

Thursday’s MLB schedule includes a rivalry game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, who begin a five-game series at Wrigley Field over the next four days. The betting lines are even in this game, with both teams having a moneyline of -110, although the visiting Cardinals are favored with a 1.5 run line. There is also an over/under of eight runs for Thursday’s game.

The Cardinals had to Wrigley Field fresh off an impressive three-game sweep of the Padres. St. Louis has now won five of its last six games and nine of its last 12 games. That stretch has brought the Cardinals within two games of the Brewers at the top of the NL Central and given them the third-best run-differential in the National League.

The Cubs actually helped St. Louis after earning a split in their four-game series against the Brewers. However, Chicago still can’t seem to generate much positive momentum and is slipping further away from the playoff picture. The Cubs are already ten games back in the NL Central and 6.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.

The Almost Ace

With Keegan Thompson getting the start on Thursday, the Cubs should feel good about their chances to win their third straight game. Thompson is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his three starts and eight relief outings this season. During his transition to the rotation, he’s allowed just three runs over 14 innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Cubs have been able to flex a little more offensive muscle lately, scoring at least four runs in six of their last seven games. The caveat is that rookie Seiya Suzuki is currently on the IL after a promising start to his career. But Willson Contreras continues to be red-hot, with Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom also contributing lately.

A Little Freedom

The Cardinals hope they have their future ace on the mound Thursday as Matthew Liberatore makes the third start of his career. After some ups and downs in his first start, the young lefty threw five scoreless innings against the Brewers in his last start, allowing just two hits. Of course, this will be the first time the 22-year-old is pitching at Wrigley Field.

Offensively, the Cardinals hope to give Liberatore plenty of run support. That’s certainly possible with Paul Goldschmidt, who is batting .353 with an OPS of 1.054 this season, making him look like an early MVP candidate. Goldschmidt also has four homers and 10 RBIs in his last seven games, although he hasn’t gotten a ton of help around him during that time outside of young infielder Nolan Gorman.

Cardinals/Cubs Betting Prediction

This game is a virtual toss-up on paper because both teams are sending a young starter pitcher to the mound, and neither is particularly reliable at this point. But the most important stat to know is that the Cubs are just 9-17 at home this season while the Cards are 13-10 on the road.

That’s enough to bet on St. Louis staying hot and winning a fourth straight game on Thursday.

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