The National League Central race is tight, and not surprisingly, old rivals the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are right in the mix. The Cubs currently find themselves on top of the division but there are four other teams within striking distance, so they need to keep playing well. The Cubs have struggled a bit of late and have not been great on the road this season so they need to flip the script or else the Cardinals will claw closer to them in the standings.
St. Louis has been very up and down this season and its fast start has started to look like a mirage, so a series win over Chicago would be a big boost. The Saturday matchup looks destined to be a good one, with each side boasting enough talent to believe it will head home the victor in MLB gambling.
This MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 1st, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on FOX.
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The Cubs have a record of 30-23 on the season after a recent lull. They are under .500 on the year on the road and are hoping to improve on that in this series. Chicago has the second-best run-differential in the National League, so despite some recent issues is expected to be in the race for the pennant based on the talent on hand.
The Cardinals started the year blazing hot but have dropped under .500 with a mark of 26-27. St. Louis is not far behind the Cubs but does need to start playing much better. The Cardinals have a 16-12 home record and need to make some hay in this series.
The Cubs are projected to send veteran left-hander Jose Quintana to the mound. He is 4-4 with a 3.73 ERA on the season. Quintana was hit hard last time out, giving up five runs and 12 hits in only 5.1 innings pitched in a loss to the Reds. His peripheral stats are not great but Quintana has a strong track record and will aim to get back on track in this matchup.
The Cardinals are expected to counter with right-hander Jack Flaherty. He has very similar numbers with a 4-3 record and a 3.77 ERA. Flaherty has the superior WHIP and is striking out more than a batter per inning, so St. Louis will like its chances with him on the mound. Flaherty tossed six shutout innings of three-hit ball last time out against the Braves, striking out seven, and would be thrilled to duplicate that performance.
Cubs outfielders Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward collided while going for a fly ball recently and both missed some time with soreness. However, they were able to avoid serious injury and both seem likely to be in the lineup for this matchup.
Heyward, a former player for the Cardinals, is batting .238 on the year with eight homers and 20 RBIs. Bryant has been awesome, batting .283 with 12 homers, 34 RBIs and an OPS of .972. Bryant’s power was sapped last year due to injury and the hope is that the collision doesn’t affect him too much because he is one of the best players in baseball when healthy.
Free MLB ATS Picks
The Cardinals have the slightly superior pitcher on the mound as well as the home field advantage, but Chicago has the better lineup. This game could come down to the bullpens, and which one comes up with crucial outs. In a toss-up situation, it makes more sense to go with the underdog. Therefore, the Cubs are the pick to come away with this road victory over the Cardinals in MLB odds.
MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4
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