St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs odds, picks and predictions

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The St. Louis Cardinals (29-21) head to Wrigley Field Thursday to start a 4-game series with the longtime rival Chicago Cubs (21-29) at 8:05 p.m. ET. Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook‘s lines around the Cardinals vs. Cubs odds with MLB picks and predictions.

This is the first meeting this season between the NL Central teams. The Cardinals won last year’s season series 10-9 and had a plus-3 run differential.

St. Louis just swept the San Diego Padres in a 3-game set at home and the Cardinals are 7-3 straight up (SU) over their last 10 games.

Chicago just split a 4-game series at home vs. the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cubs are 5-5 SU in the last 10.

Cardinals at Cubs projected starters

LHP Matthew Liberatore vs. RHP Keegan Thompson

Liberatore is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA (9 2/3 IP, 4 ER), 9 H, 1 HR, 5 BB and 9 K in 2 starts at the Pittsburgh Pirates and vs. the Brewers in his rookie season.

  • The 2018 MLB first-round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Rays is the 35th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com.

Thompson is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9 in 3 starts and 8 relief appearances.

  • Last start: Won 5-1 Saturday at the Chicago White Sox with 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 HR, 1 BB and 4 K.

Cardinals at Cubs odds and lines

  • Money line (ML): Cardinals -112 (bet $112 to win $100) | Cubs -108 (bet $108 to win $100)
  • Run line (RL)/Against the spread (ATS): Cardinals -1.5 (+145) | Cubs +1.5 (-180)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 8.5 (O: -105 | U: -120)

Cardinals at Cubs picks and predictions

Prediction

Cubs 6, Cardinals 4

Money line

LEAN CUBS (-108) because they’re as productive vs. lefties as the Cardinals (-112) are against righties and Chicago has a starting and relief pitching edge.

Thompson has been lights out and grades in the 84th percentile of hard-hit rate, 89th percentile of exit velocity and in the 72nd percentile or better in expected batting average, wOBA and slugging percentage, per Statcast.

Chicago’s bullpen leads St. Louis’s in several advanced pitching metrics including xFIP (4.16-3.28), K/BB rate (3.26-2.23), contact rates and swing-and-miss rates, per FanGraphs.

It’s only a LEAN to the CUBS (-108) because the Cardinals are 8 games better in the standings and Liberatore has looked like the real deal so far.

Run line/Against the spread

PASS.

Chicago is 24-11 RL as underdogs but the Cubs +1.5 (-180) is out of my price range for an outright bet. Perhaps there’s another similarly priced line to parlay with Chicago’s RL for a better payout.

Over/Under

Slight LEAN to the OVER 8.5 (-105) because Chicago is 9-4-2 O/U as underdogs and 5-1-1 O/U in the last 7 games vs. left-handed starters and Wrigley Field is a notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark.

My favorite bet in this game is Chicago’s ML, but there’s a smidge of value in the OVER 8.5 (-105).

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Author: Lucy Green