Cubs vs. Cardinals MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Justin Steele, Miles Mikolas To Dominate? (Wednesday, Aug. 3)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Mikolas.
- The Chicago Cubs travel to Busch Stadium on Wednesday to take on their rival St. Louis Cardinals.
- The Cardinals send Miles Mikolas to the mound, while the Cubs counter with Justin Steele.
- With both pitchers putting up solid performances all season, Kenny Ducey sees betting value on the total.
Cubs vs. Cardinals Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Cubs will look to level their three-game set with the Cardinals on Tuesday night after a crushing 6-0 defeat Tuesday night.
Justin Steele and Miles Mikolas are sure to put on a show, but is there any value left in the total? Is there any edge to be found here? Let's take a look.
Cubs Performing Well at Plate
The Cubs have been surprisingly competent at the plate lately, putting up a 102 wRC+ to grade out as a very slightly above-average offense in the last two weeks.
They've had a hard time reaching base via the walk with one in just 5.9% of plate appearances, though they've been decent at limiting strikeouts. The big thing for Chicago lately has been power, as evidenced by a .172 ISO.
That's probably no fluke. Chicago ranks eighth in hard-hit rate at 40.5% during that time and 13th in barrel rate at 7.3%. Seiya Suzuki, Christopher Morel and Ian Happ have all been the main source of hard-hit balls, which is great news when you're gearing up to face a right-handed pitcher. All three are hitting .255 or better in that split.
Steele has been pretty solid in his own right. While he's walked an alarming 10.4% of hitters, he's pitched pretty true to his 3.86 ERA with a decently low .335 xwOBA on contact and a .244 expected batting average.
He hasn't exactly been lucky, but it's hard to say his numbers indicate he's anything better than what you see. He won't give up a ton of homers and will keep things under control, but he's likely not going to dominate.
Miles Mikolas Continues to Deal
You could have said the same thing about Mikolas in the last couple of seasons in which he actually pitched — but he's turned himself back into a somewhat dominant pitcher.
The righty has posted an awfully low 5% walk rate and worked around pretty bland hard-hit and strikeout numbers to produce a 2.86 ERA. While his expected ERA of 3.62 may scare some off, I'd point to a pretty solid .343 xwOBA on contact (25 points better than average) and an above-average 6.4% barrel rate as reasons to believe that he's good enough to post a sub-three ERA.
Mikolas' xwOBA on contact and .381 xSLG is proof enough that while he may give up some hard-hit balls, he's not liable to get torched by multiple long balls. He can pitch around trouble and pitch to contact well.
As it pertains to the offense, things are looking up for the Cardinals. They're second in barrel rate in the last two weeks and sixth in wRC+. They have turned into run-scoring machines and have won four of their last five as a result.
The Cardinals are accurately priced on the moneyline, but as I touched on above, I think both pitchers deserve more love than this.
While both have their flaws, it seems unlikely that either one of these pitchers will implode given what we've seen out of them all season long.
I'll look past the Cardinals' excellent numbers against lefties this season and their hot play of late and go with the under. I think Mikolas can extend this scoreless streak against the Cubs here for most of the game, perhaps cashing this by himself.
Pick: Under 8 (+100)