Cardinals vs Cubs Odds, Expert Pick | MLB Prediction for Monday, May 8
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Willson Contreras.
- The St. Louis Cardinals meet the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field to kick off an NL Central rivalry matchup on Monday night.
- Despite a poor start to the season, there may be value on the Cardinals to topple their rival.
- Check out Nick Martin's full betting preview and pick for Cardinals vs. Cubs below.
Cardinals vs Cubs Odds
-122 / +100
-122 / +100
The Cardinals were the preseason betting favorites to win the NL Central, but they now sit in last at 11-24. One of the teams they are looking up at is the rival Cubs, who own a mark of 17-17.
Miles Mikolas’ awful form has been a key cause of St. Louis’ underachievement, as he has pitched to a 5.79 ERA in 37 1/3 innings. He will start tonight’s matchup versus the Cubs, who will go with Marcus Stroman.
Stroman has pitched to a 2.18 ERA in 41 innings with a 1.09 WHIP. He and the Cubs are -126 favorites in Monday’s series opener, with a low total of 7.
As you would expect when you see a total of 7 at Wrigley, heavy winds are expected to blow in toward home plate for most of this Cardinals vs. Cubs series opener.
In a rare turn of events, St. Louis has seen well below-average results from its pitching staff early on. The Cardinals’ 4.59 team ERA ranks 21st in baseball. Mikolas’ alarmingly bad 6.11 xERA and 5.79 ERA have contributed plenty to that lowly mark.
There are some arguments that suggest Monday’s contest could be a decent buy-low opportunity with Mikolas. His .516 xSLG rating is a career-worst by a large margin, yet his stuff is actually rating similar to usual.
His velocity and spin rates are nearly identical to last season when he put up a 3.89 xERA and .400 xSLG. His quality of pitch average is stellar at 5.20, and his sinker continues to be considered excellent quality.
Mikolas’ 2023 BABIP sits at .377, while his career mark is .283. His HR/9 also comes in at 1.69, compared to a career mark of 1.10. Mikolas may not be in his prime anymore, but considering that his stuff is still rating reasonably well, positive regression to some of these marks should be on the horizon.
Winds of 13-15 MPH are expected to blow in from left field for the majority of this contest, which should favor Mikolas considering his current hard-hit rates and home run to fly ball ratio.
Offensively, the Cardinals have been quietly strong despite their lowly record. They’ve hit to the 10th-best wRC+ (107) to go along with a .327 wOBA.
Stroman seems to be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Mikolas. His 3.96 xERA is 1.78 runs worse than his actual mark. He has stranded 86.1% of base runners this season compared to a career rate of 72.9%.
Stroman’s hard-hit rate is still in the middle of the pack. His strikeouts per 9 mark is still barely beyond league average, and that comes in at a higher mark than we should expect considering his whiff percentage.
There are few meaningful indicators suggesting Stroman is pitching drastically better than last season, yet that’s what his ERA suggests.
Chicago has hit to a 106 wRC+ and .330 wOBA versus right-handed pitching, which are nearly identical marks to the Cardinals.
Cardinals vs Cubs Betting Pick
By no means am I excited to bet on Mikolas and the Cardinals, but this situation is calling for it.
Mikolas has been in a career-worst stretch, yet his stuff still rates close to what we’ve typically seen. That says he’s due for some positive regression in terms of his hard contact rates in any conditions.
Pitching on a day with winds blowing in heavily at Wrigley should also be favorable for Mikolas.
Meanwhile, it’s likely that Stroman’s stellar 2.18 ERA regresses moving forward. St. Louis’ offense has been a disappointment, but I believe its priors still deserve some respect as well.
With Mikolas being better than we’ve seen thus far and Stroman due to fall off a bit — plus the Cardinals offense potentially waking up — I like the Cards at +115 here.
Pick: Cardinals +115
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