St. Louis extended its current winning streak to a franchise-record 15 games with an 8-5 win over the Cubs on Saturday. The torrid run has propelled the Cardinals into the final postseason spot in the National League. They now own a whopping five-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies for the NL’s final Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, Chicago is trying to close a disappointing season on a high note. The Cubs enter the series finale with a 67-88 overall record with just seven games remaining on the regular-season schedule.
Can the Cardinals keep their impressive winning streak alive at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon?
Woodford looking to continue strong finish vs. CubsThe Cardinals are scheduled to close the series with right-hander Jake Woodford on Sunday. The 25-year-old is 3-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 24 games (six starts) this season. Woodford allowed just two hits and no runs over five frames in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals’ right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA in four September appearances (three starts).
Woodford has posted solid peripherals in his second cup of coffee at the big league level. He has struck out 7.06 batters and walked just 3.45 batters per nine innings of work in 2021.
In three appearances (one start) against the Cubs, Woodford is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, current Cubs are batting a healthy .438 in 16 plate appearances off of the Cardinals’ right-hander ahead of Sunday’s contest.
Thompson set to make first career start vs. St. LouisChicago will counter with right-hander Keegan Thompson for his sixth start of the season. The 26-year-old is 3-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 31 games (five starts) this season. Thompson hasn’t been asked to do much as a starter and hasn’t thrown more than 73 pitches in any of his starts. In his previous trip to the mound, the Cubs’ right-hander spun two scoreless frames of one-hit ball in a no-decision versus the Milwaukee Brewers.
Thompson has struggled with free passes and home runs in his rookie season. The Cubs’ right-hander has walked 5.36 batters and given up 1.43 home runs per nine innings of work this season. Yet, he’s managed to pitch his way to a 3.40 ERA, thanks in part to a .262 BABIP and 85.1 percent strand rate in 2021.
Thompson has made five career appearances against the Cardinals this season, going 0-0 with a 4.05 ERA in those matchups. Per Baseball Savant, current Cubs are batting .259 in 30 plate appearances off of the Cubs’ righty heading into Sunday’s start.
- Cardinals are 8-0 in their last 8 vs. National League Central.
- Cardinals are 6-0 in their last 6 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Cardinals are 7-0 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- Cubs are 7-19 in their last 26 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Cubs are 8-22 in their last 30 home games.
- Cubs are 3-9 in their last 12 Sunday games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cardinals can’t seem to lose right now. While it might be smart to bet on this streak coming to an end, St. Louis continues to defy the odds by winning night in and night out. The Red Birds should have the advantage on the mound once again on Sunday, as Woodford has put together a strong finish to the year. Meanwhile, Thompson has completed more than two innings just one time in his last five starts, so this will likely turn into more of a bullpen game for the Cubs. Take the Cardinals to cover the run line on the road in Wrigley Field on Sunday.
Full-Game Total Pick
This Cardinals team is absolutely on fire at the dish right now. St. Louis has scored at least eight runs in five straight games and it has averaged a whopping seven runs per game during its current 15-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Chicago has also scored at least four runs in 13 consecutive games, which bodes well for the total in this one. With Thompson not expected to pitch for very long, look for the Cardinals to feast on the Cubs’ relievers once again on Sunday. Take this matchup to go over the projected total at Wrigley Field.