MLB Odds, Preview, Betting Prediction for Cardinals vs. Cubs: Chicago Has Pitching Edge With Hendricks (Saturday, June 12)
Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: John Gant
- The Cubs are a big favorite over the Cardinals on Saturday night.
- Kyle Hendricks has been dominant against St. Louis in his career, while Cardinals starter John Gant has been overperforming his underlying metrics all season.
- Get our pick and preview for Cardinals vs. Cubs below.
Cardinals vs. Cubs Odds
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday morning and via BetMGM.|
The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will play the second game of a three-game series at Wrigley Field on Saturday night. Chicago rallied to score seven unanswered runs after falling behind 5-1 in the series opener on Friday.
The victory moves their series record to 3-1 against the Cardinals and keeps them tied with the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
The loss drops St. Louis to just one game above .500 and four games behind the division leaders.
The Cardinals will try to get back to winning ways with John Gant on the mound for the middle game. However, he’ll be opposed by Kyle Hendricks, who has won his last five decisions. He’s been great against the Cardinals in his career, as well.
We’ll touch on that and much more as we preview one of baseball’s most storied rivalries.
Cardinals’ Gant Finally Starting to Show Cracks
There was a collective feeling of jubilation by baseball handicappers, analysts, and sabermetricians alike on Sunday as they watched Gant get pounded for seven runs in four innings of work.
No pitcher has befuddled baseball minds more than Gant, who at 4-3, has a 2.63 ERA but a 1.59 WHIP and 4.56 FIP — nearly two runs worse than his ERA.
I’m not sure a player has pitched with more luck, given his 6.09 BB/9 ratio. Elite pitchers can often rely on their ability to strike out opposing hitters after issuing walks, but Gant isn’t a power pitcher, as evidenced by his 6.75 K/9 ratios. As a result, good fortune might be the only true explanation as to how he’s been able to strand 82.8% of his baserunners.
To his credit, he’s been able to utilize his sinker effectively, which has led to a 1.76 GB/FB ratio.
But it’s a dangerous game anytime you walk as many batters as he does and strike out so few, and his last start may be just the beginning of his unraveling.
Cubs Getting Hot
The Cubs have been one of the biggest surprises thus far this season. At 36-27, they’re well ahead of their projected win total set at 78.5. After all, Chicago looked like they took a step back after trading Yu Darvish for Zach Davies and four unproven prospects in the offseason. They also chose not to tender an offer to Kyle Schwarber after six years of service.
However, the reality is that Chicago’s pitching has been good enough to place in the top-10 in ERA (3.75). They’re also in the top-10 with a .413 slugging percentage. Chicago is also right at the league average with a wRC+ value of 100, while St. Louis is below average with a value of 93, and their pitching staff is also 20th with a 4.39 ERA.
Frankly, I don’t think there’s any question that the Cubs are the better team at the moment. And opposing teams certainly can’t fancy their chances against them at Wrigley Field.
Chicago leads the National League with the best record at 22-10. As if it wasn’t difficult enough for visiting teams, they reopened their stadium to full capacity yesterday.
HARDHATS ARE REQUIRED IN THE BLEACHERS WHEN U ARE AT THE GODDAMN FEDERAL LANDMARK pic.twitter.com/6mgiRMnEyd
— DOM (@DOM_Frederic) June 11, 2021
Just take a look at the sights and sounds when Joc Pederson got the Cubbies on the board with a solo home run.
I expect the crowd to play a major role on Saturday if Gant has another outing where he struggles with his command.
I don’t think I’ve ever handicapped a game with the home field possibly providing a big edge, but I’m not sure more would be more relevant than this series. As much as I’d like to talk about Hendricks and his career dominance over the Cardinals, I think he’ll take a backseat to another capacity crowd during this primetime matchup against the regression-bound Gant.
I’ll touch on Hendricks briefly to make sure I don’t leave anything out for what it’s worth. After all, the Cubs have won 13 of their last 15 games with him on the mound against the Cardinals.
I mentioned earlier that Hendricks comes into this game riding a personal five-game win streak. And the Cardinals have won just two of their last 10. But with the Cubs as high as a -190 favorite on the money line, I prefer to trim the juice and back them on the run line instead.
Chicago is 15-6 for 10.27 units on the run line when they face St. Louis with Hendricks as a starter.
DraftKings is offering the best value on the board at +120 odds, so I’ll look to place my action there.
Pick: Cubs RL (+120)