The Cubs and Cardinals meet again on Wednesday at Busch Stadium as both teams look to establish their position in the division standings. Chicago is fourth in the NJ Central, 15.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. They have lost four of the last five games since their recent six-game winning streak.
St. Louis has been close to the top of the division for the last several weeks and is now just two games behind first place. They have won four of their previous five games and have a comfortable lead over the third-place Cincinnati Reds of 13 games. A win tonight would give them their third victory in a row.
The Cubs had hopes of turning around their season during a recent winning streak in which they swept series from both the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Since then, they have lost three of four to the San Francisco Giants on the road and have been shut out in their last two games. St. Louis beat them 6-0 as starter Adam Wainwright shut them down for seven scoreless innings last night.
Patrick Wisdom is the most productive hitter for Chicago, with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs to lead the offense. Nico Hoerner is first in batting average for the team, hitting .294.
Keegan Thompson leads all Cubs pitchers in wins with eight, and Justin Steele is the team strikeout leader with 87. Steele will take the mound tonight with a 4-7 record and 3.86 ERA.
The Cardinals have been near the top of the NL Central for weeks but haven’t been able to put together enough wins to move ahead of the Brewers. However, their pitching has been dominant in the last five games, giving up just nine earned runs during that stretch and shutting out their previous two opponents. As a result, they lead the season series against Chicago 5-4 and have a chance to take another victory at home tonight.
Paul Goldschmidt comes into tonight’s game as the leading hitter in the National League, batting .332. He also has 25 homers and 81 RBIs, which is fourth in the Majors.
Adam Wainwright leads the team in strikeouts with 108, and Miles Mikolas is first in ERA at 2.86 and wins with eight. He will be on the mound to start tonight’s game at home.
The total has gone under in seven of the last eight games for the Cubs, and they are 1-4 straight up in their previous five games. The Cards are 6-2 in their last eight home games, and the total has gone under in four of their previous five games.
The Cards have the advantage on the mound tonight and are eighth in the Majors in runs per game at 4.7. Also, Mikolas is 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA at Busch Stadium this season. The Cubs desperately need to put together some offense and haven’t scored a run in the last nineteen innings.
Godds Pick/Prediction: The Cardinals will win, and the total stays under.