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Cardinals vs. Cubs Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wrigley Field Welcomes Back Full Capacity (Friday, June 11)

Cardinals vs. Cubs Odds, Preview, Prediction: Wrigley Field Welcomes Back Full Capacity (Friday, June 11) article feature image

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Wisdom (left).

Cardinals vs. Cubs Odds

Cardinals Odds +120
Cubs Odds -130
Over/Under 9
Time Friday, 2:20 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Friday and via William Hill

One sign that the world is normalizing itself will be seeing a full Wrigley Field.

The Friendly Confines welcomes 100% capacity for the first time in 2021 on Friday afternoon, when the St. Louis Cardinals come to town to take on the Chicago Cubs.

St. Louis enters having won just two of its last 10 games, although it did end a home series against the Indians on Wednesday night with a win. Chicago, meanwhile, sits atop the National League Central, leading the Brewers by a half-game.

Let’s see which side bettors should back on Friday afternoon:

It’s Now Or Never For Cardinals’ Oviedo

If Johan Oviedo is going to put a legitimate claim down on a permanent spot in the Cardinals’ rotation, a strong start on Friday would go a long way.

St. Louis is currently without Jack Flaherty, Kwang Hyun Kim and Miles Mikolas in its rotation, leaving Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez and John Gant as the regulars. Oviedo has filled in here and there, making five starts (six total appearances).

The 23-year-old right-hander has made two starts at Triple-A Memphis this year, although his numbers are better in the majors. Oviedo’s longest outing for the Cardinals was an April 28 start that saw him allow three runs over five innings against the Phillies.

In two starts since rejoining the rotation on May 28, Oviedo has thrown 4 1/3 and four innings against the D-backs and Reds.

Oviedo throws either his fastball or slider 76.9% of the time, mixing in the occasional curveball or changeup. Thus far, his fastball has allowed an xBA of .260 and an impressive .312 xSLG. While his slider’s xBA is .244 and actual batting average against .184, it has been hit harder this season, with an xSLG of .472.

Oviedo’s 5.25 ERA is backed up by a 5.45 xFIP. His biggest problem is that he’s neither striking out a bunch of hitters or keeping them off base (7.50 strikeouts per nine innings and a staggering 6.38 walks). He’s allowing 1.50 home runs per nine innings but just a .239 BABIP, which indicates bad things happen when opponents make contact.

Offensively, the Cardinals are riding the wave that is Tyler O’Neill’s power over the past two weeks. In that span, he has seven home runs and 14 RBIs, slashing an impressive .373/.396/.882. O’Neill is unlikely to ever hit .300 over the course of an entire season, but his power makes him prone to extremely hot stretches like this one.

Nolan Arenado (.703 OPS over the past two weeks) has shown down a bit, while Paul Goldschmidt (.846) has stayed steady throughout the season. The Cards would no doubt welcome an increase in power from Goldschmidt, who only has a .416 slugging percentage on the season.

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Cubs Rely On Wisdom At The Plate

The Cubs’ lineup, meanwhile, has been led throughout the season by a resurgent Kris Bryant, who is doing his best to make sure he didn’t make a huge mistake by turning down an extension worth $200 million a few years ago. A free agent after the season, like many of his teammates, Bryant is slashing .308/.383/.575 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs.

The current star of the show for the Cubs, though, is reigning NL Player of the Week Patrick Wisdom (yes, you read that right). In 16 games for the Cubs this season, all of which have come recently, Wisdom has eight home runs and an absurd 1.371 OPS.

The 29-year-old bounced around organizations before landing with the Cubs last season, and the North Siders definitely did not expect him to be a significant contributor this season. Injuries to infielders David Bote, Matt Duffy and Nico Hoerner created a hole for the Cubs, though, and Wisdom has filled it well. When that trio is healthy, someone is not going to be left out. For now, though, Chicago is happy to ride its newfound star’s bat.

Aside from Bryant and Wisdom, the Cubs’ lineup has been relatively pedestrian of late. Javier Baez, Joc Pederson and Ian Happ all have an OPS under .610 over the past two weeks, while Anthony Rizzo’s is .763 during that span. That has been when Wisdom has been red hot. He hasn’t just kept the Cubs afloat. They’re thriving thanks to him.

Kohl Stewart will start for the Cubs on Friday. This will be Stewart’s third time through the Cubs’ rotation. He threw five innings of one-run ball (the run was unearned) against ht Pirates on May 31, before allowing three runs over 3 2/3 innings last Saturday against the Giants. His 3.12 ERA is solid, although a 4.42 FIP says that number is likely to rise.

Cardinals vs. Cubs Pick

The X-factor in this matchup: The wind.

The wind will be blowing in off Lake Michigan on Friday afternoon at 5-10 mph. When that happens, the under is the play.

As The Action Network’s PJ Walsh discusses in our MLB PRO Weather Report, the under is 354-280-32 since 2005 when winds of at least 5 mph are blowing in at the Friendly Confines.

With a Cubs lineup that depends on a journeyman enjoying the hottest streak of his life, I’m more than happy to play the shockingly low under of 9 runs.

Pick: Under 9 runs

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