Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros, 5/29/19 8:10 PM ET Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX, TV: Chicago (NBCSCH), Houston (ATT SportsNet-SW, ESPN) Radio: Chicago (670 The Score), Houston (KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, La Ranchera 850 AM)
The Cubs/Cardinals rivalry continues today at 8:15 PM ET at Busch Stadium. After suffering a sweep in the last time these teams matched up, the Cardinals will be looking to save face, as they’re currently 4.5 games behind the first place Cubs. Unpredictable Yu Darvish will suit up for the Cubs, as the right-handed Miles Mikolas will get the nod for the Cards.
Today will mark Darvish’s first ever start at Busch Stadium. He’s faced the Cardinals once before, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. Giving up five runs in just four innings pitched, he currently has an 11.25 ERA against the Birds. He wasn’t accurate in that start either, as he gave up five walks for an average of .80 SO/Walk. That being said, only a few Cardinals on this team hit him well in that go. Carpenter, Ozuna, and Martinez are the only ones who recorded a hit off the righty, but they all have multiple.
Despite having a 4.76 ERA and a posted record of 4-5, Mikolas is a great pitcher at home. So much so that the Cardinals tweaked their rotation to have the right-hander open the series against the Cubs. Mikolas has posted an ERA of 3.15 on the year at Busch Stadium. Through 11 at bats, Rizzo is hitting .364 off the right-hander, so that’ll be a matchup to look out for today.
Rivalries are an interesting thing, especially in baseball. In a game that’s already so unpredictable, when two teams with a history as vast as these two get together, it doesn’t seem to matter where they stand in the wins/losses column going into the game. Expect to see a hard fought game on both sides.
1. K. Schwarber , (L), LF
2. K. Bryant , (R), 3B
3. A. Rizzo , (L), 1B
4. J. Baez , (R), SS
5. W. Contreras , (R), C
6. D. Descalso , (L), 2B
7. J. Heyward , (L), RF
8. A. Almora Jr. , (R), CF
9. Y. Darvish , (R), SP
Finally snapping their three game losing streak in a 2-1 close contest against the Astros Wednesday night, the Cubs will look to get something going against their division rival Cardinals. Things have been extra heated between the two clubs, after Kris Bryant was quoted over the off-season saying something along the lines of, “Who would want to live in St. Louis?” That may seem like unimportant drama, but the hostility felt in the ballpark from the fans and players alike will either fuel or dampen the Cubs’ performance, in my opinion. I’m just not sure which.
Baez has been alarmingly quiet late, posting 14 KOs in his last six games. A slump’s a slump, and the Cubs will certainly hope that’s all it is, because he’s still hitting .307 with 67 hits on the year. David Bote has been red-hot lately, hitting .533 through 15 at bats in his last five games. In two at bats against Mikolas, Bote hasn’t recorded a hit. Rizzo, who as mentioned before is hitting .364 through 11 ABs against Mikolas, is also hot with a .409 BA in his last six games.
Cubs fans have had a love/hate relationship with Darvish all year, although it’s leaned mostly towards hate. It’s gotten to the point, though, that even though he gave up six runs and 12 hits in his last start against the Reds, he’s still praised for simply going seven innings. That game was the first time Darvish pitched in the seventh inning for the Cubs. It’s hard to know what to expect from Darvish in tonight’s game, but if anything, at least expect him to struggle with control as he’s already given up 38 walks on the year.
1. D. Fowler , (S), RF
2. P. Goldschmidt , (R), 1B
3. P. DeJong , (R), SS
4. M. Ozuna , (R), LF
5. M. Carpenter , (L), 3B
6. Y. Molina , (R), C
7. K. Wong , (L), 2B
8. H. Bader , (R), CF
9. M. Mikolas , (R), SP
Coming off a 5-3 victory against the Phillies to avoid a sweep, the Cards are hoping to gain traction in the NL Central in this series. They haven’t been crazily better at home this year, as they’re 16-12 at Busch vs. 11-16 on the road. It’s an edge, sure, but not enough to think it’ll give them a real advantage against this tough Cubs team.
Goldschmidt and Carpenter have been hot lately. Goldschmidt is hitting .476 with a homer in his last six games through 21 plate appearances. Carpenter has a .350 BA with two dingers and an OBP of .409 in his last six. Weirdly enough, Goldschmidt hasn’t recorded a hit off Darvish in 6 ABs, so now is likely as good a time as ever for that to change. Carpenter has two hits in 3 ABs against the right-hander and Ozuna has a posted avg. of .375 in 8 ABs against Darvish.
On the year, Mikolas is pitching worse at night (5.06 ERA) vs. the day (4.32 ERA). He’s held right-handed hitters to just a .224 average on the year, so he will certainly gain an edge against the righty dominated Cubs lineup. He gave up two HRs and 3 runs in his last go against the Braves which resulted in a loss. He’s pitching significantly better at home than on the road this year, so if the Cardinals are going to have an edge, that’ll be it.
Cardinals vs. Cubs Betting Odds
Caeser’s currently has the line at STL -120 CHC +110. They have the over/under set at 9 runs. Despite Darvish being on the mound for the Cubs, I still see them taking this game. We’ve seen this rivalry ignite the Cubs’ bats time and time again, and I simply feel like they’re the stronger team. With two pitchers with over 4.75 ERAs starting the game, I’d take the over. However, I try my best to avoid betting the over/under in baseball games because oftentimes even when it makes sense for the two clubs to put up a ton of runs, they’ll miss the mark by six or seven runs. If you’re looking for a second bet to make, try taking the Cubs ML and then stacking that on top of Cubs RL (+1 1/2 at -160). That way, if they lose by one, your money line cancels out, but if they win the game, you win big. This provides slightly more insurance than just taking the ML for a larger amount of money.
Bet on Matchup
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