The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs meet for the fourth time this season in Friday’s three-game series opener from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. The struggling Cardinals will have Johan Oviedo start the opener. The Cubs will reply with their ace, Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs won two of three in St. Louis last month.
Oviedo Eyes First Win, Cardinals Thwart Losing Streak
The Cards will have Johan Oviedo on the hill for the seventh time of the season to open the series. Oviedo was subpar last time out, giving up two runs in four innings against the Reds, leading to the no-decision in a game the Cardinals lost by a 5-2 score. The young right-hander doesn’t pitch deep into games and has allowed two or more runs in all but one start. He enters with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP accompanied by a 0-2 record in 24 innings. Oviedo has struggled against the Cubs, squandering seven runs (five earned) in 9.2 frames.
Everything was going well for the Cardinals and they suddenly dropped six consecutive games starting last week which ended with a victory over the Indians on Wednesday. The pitching has been an issue recently and the offense has been underwhelming. They now stand three games out of first.
Tyler O'Neill is taking up residency on Freese's Lawn at this point. pic.twitter.com/O5HkVz9ezd— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 10, 2021
Paul Goldschmidt is hitting a stellar .346 this month but only has three RBI’s in his last 10 games. Overall he is having a rather uninspiring season, hitting just .251 with 30 RBI’s and a .737 OPS. The veteran first baseman is 2 for 12 with one RBI against the Cubs this season.
The Cardinals rank 17th overall with 4.24 runs per game. The St. Louis pitching staff owns a 4.27 team ERA, placing them 18th in the big leagues.
Hendricks Earns Another Win, Cubs Top Padres
Kyle Hendricks will take the mound for the 13th time of the season, aiming for win number eight. Hendricks was solid in his latest outing, holding the Giants to three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings, and was rewarded with the win to lift his record to 8-4. The veteran right-hander has been more effective recently but is giving up several home runs and has filed a 4.59 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 68.2 innings. He allowed three runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings against the Cards last month and stands at 10-3 with a dazzling 2.81 ERA in 21 career starts against the rivals.
The Cubs head back to Wrigley after recording a 3-4 West Coast road trip. They lost three of four to the first-place Giants and handed the Padres a series loss. The Cubs are one of the best home teams in the bigs where they have won 21 games.
Watch for Javier Baez who is listed as questionable with a thumb injury. He enjoyed a big against St. Louis last month, collecting three hits and four RBI’s in three clashes The 28-year old slugger has cooled off a bit recently and has 14 homers along with a team-leading 39 RBI’s and a .757 OPS.
The Cubs are scoring an average of 4.56 runs on the season, placing them 12th in the Major Leagues. The Chicago pitching staff has posted a 3.73 team ERA, good for 10th.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 1-6 in their last 7 games overall.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games n the first game of a series.
- 0-5 in their last 5 games against the NL Central.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games against a right-handed starter.
- 17-5 in their last 22 home games.
- 4-1 in their last 5 Friday games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cardinals are playing terrible baseball right now, losing six out of their last seven games. Most of those defeats were multi-run losses as the offense is inconsistent and the pitching has been terrible. The Cubs should cash in big at the dish against Cards’ starter Johan Oveido. He has surrendered seven runs (five earned) in his 9.2 career innings against the Cubs.
Furthermore, Chicago has been the much better team recently and they already won two of three against this Cardinals team last month. Kyle Hendricks should contain the Cardinals considering he features a stifling 2.81 career ERA against the rivals.
Full-Game Total Pick
This one should go over. The Cubs have thrived against the Cards pitching, scoring a total of 15 runs in the three-game series in St. Louis last month and Oviedo can’t be trusted. He has surrendered seven runs in his last 10.1 innings of work. The over is also 5-1 in the Cardinals’ last six road games.
In addition, the Cardinals should contribute towards this total. While Hendricks is solid, he has given up three runs in three starts in a row. The over is also 4-1 in the Cards’ last five games against a team with a winning record.