Cardinals vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Offense More Than Enough To Shut Down Chicago (Friday June 3)

Cardinals vs. Cubs MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Offense More Than Enough To Shut Down Chicago (Friday June 3) article feature image

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Mikolas

  • The Cardinals and Cubs meet for the second game of a weekend set this afternoon at Wrigley.
  • St. Louis sends Miles Mikolas to the hill, while Chicago will counter with Marcus Stroman.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Cardinals vs. Cubs Odds

Cardinals Odds-120
Cubs Odds+100
Time2:20 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

In one of the best rivalries in baseball, the Chicago Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals for a four-game set with Friday’s matinee being the second.

Marcus Stroman goes for the Cubs, and in his last outing he dazzled against the White Sox with seven innings, three hits, two walks with no earned runs.

Miles Mikolas will go for St. Louis and he was not nearly as sharp in his last outing, allowing six earned runs on nine hits and a walk against another rival, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mikolas was solid most of last month, though, posting a 3.77 ERA. Stroman was equally efficient with a 1.50 ERA for the month that helped put behind his brutal April. That said, Stroman is still giving up tons of hard contact while Mikolas generally limits it.

Will that trend continue on Friday afternoon at Wrigley?

Cardinals' Mikolas Has Advantage On The Mound

Mikolas has been solid for the Cards. He owns a 2.67 ERA against a 3.44 xERA, so he has been a bit lucky, but 3.44 is plenty serviceable. His walk rate is sub-5%, which is exceptional, and his hard hit rate is only 34.1%. He utilizes five pitches consistently and mixes them up often: sinker, slider, curveball, four-seamer and changeup.

The Cubs have two crucial contributors on the injured list, in Yan Gomes and Seiya Suzuki. Since May 1, only four Cubs are hitting over the .350 xwOBA mark off of right-handers: Willson Contreras, Christopher Morel, Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ.

The rest of the lineup outlook is pretty bleak, especially considering how Mikolas will limit hard hit contact and avoid walks. The Cubs have posted a 9.8% walk rate off of righties this season, but this is obsolete when looking at who is on the hill.

The St. Louis bullpen has a walk rate of 9.8% since May 1, so the Cubs' order can take advantage when the relievers enter the game, but Mikolas should be able to go deep into this game to limit the damage.

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Cubs' Stroman Likely In Trouble

Stroman may have had a great May, but he still ranks in the ninth percentile in average exit velocity at 91.4 mph. He ranks in the sixth percentile in hard hit percentage at nearly 50%.

This does not bode well against a team like the Cards who can hammer righties. That said, the Cardinals do have the second-lowest hard hit rate in baseball, only above the Detroit Tigers.

Since May 1, the Cardinals have five hitters over the .340 xwOBA mark. This is not the best, but everyone in the lineup is capable of putting together strong plate appearances. They have a better lineup than the Cubs, plain and simple.

The Cubs bullpen has been elite since May 1 with a 3.53 xFIP and 3.19 SIERA. They have many different arms to throw at the Cardinals, so one area of concern is the Cardinals need to get runs early off of Stroman.

Cardinals-Cubs Pick

The Cardinals are the better team here and have a starter in Mikolas who can pitch deep into this game.

Stroman may be strong as of late, but the discrepancy in lineups is the angle here. Mikolas should shut down Chicago's offense, while the Cardinals' bats have enough fire-power to get to Stroman. Back the Cards on the moneyline.

Pick: Saint Louis Cardinals -110 | play to -135

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