Cubs vs Cardinals Pick, Prediction Today
Scott Kane/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Mikolas
Cubs vs. Cardinals Odds
+100 / -122
+100 / -122
The red-hot Cubs will head in to Busch Stadium for a date with rival St. Louis. Chicago has won five straight games, and is now loosely in the wild-card picture, sitting 4.5 out. They will take on Miles Mikolas (4.33 ERA, 126 and 2/3 IP) for the second time this week, having put up five ER at Wrigley on Saturday.
St. Louis will hope to solve Justin Steele (2.95 ERA, 103 and 2/3 IP), who allowed just two runs across six strong innings Saturday.
Steele's tremendous start to the season has included some more dominant results versus the Cardinals. Over his last four starts against the Cards, Steele has put up a 2.51 ERA.
That's not far from his season clip of 2.95, which comes with an elite xERA of 3.27 and an xFIP of 3.69. Batters' average exit velo is in the seventh percentile, and Steele has allowed an xSLG of just .350.
Owning an elite slider has been a theme which continues to be more and more common among dominant starters in recent years. Steele's slider has an elite Stuff+ rating at 126, and he's relied upon it 32.9% of the time, and 49% of the time when batters have two strikes.
His entire arsenal owns a league average Stuff+ mark 100, while his Location+ of 107.
His dominant slider has worked well in unison with fastballs up and in this season. He has thrown fastballs up 50% of the time. Batters own a hard-hit rate of just 19% on inside fastballs versus Steele.
The game plan from Steele has been clear, and it has produced dominant results with elite underlying numbers. Pitching models like his work as well, and it seems that the 28-year-old lefty should continue to be one of the better starters in the NL over the back half of the campaign.
Offensively, the Cubs have been in strong form of late. They own a wRC+ of 109 over the last 30 days, which has been aided by favorable luck on balls in play. They have hit to a .326 BABIP in those 979 PAs, which is a mark that should trend downwards.
Even after his dreadful outing at Wrigley Field last week, Mikolas still owns some much stronger numbers in the month of July. He has pitched to an ERA of 3.95, and allowed a WHIP of 1.06 across 27 1/3 innings.
He is due for regression towards his overall July ERA though. He his xFIP has risen over the last six outings, and his K/9 has also been taking a step backward. We should expect Mikolas to be a touch better than his xERA of 4.95 suggests the rest of the way, but not by much.
Capped off by a dominant 11-run outing yesterday in Arizona, the Cardinals have been in strong form offensively. They have hit to a wRC+ of 126 over the last 30 days, which is the third best mark in the league. That clip does come with a sky-high BABIP of .333 though, and this has been their best run of the season by a decent margin.
Cubs vs. Cardinals Betting Pick
The Cardinals are in the midst of their best stretch of the season offensively, and will be hitting in their better split versus Steele. It may not be logical for Steele to find better results than average versus the Cardinals as a result, but a start closer to his usual standard would still be great in the eyes of Cubs fans.
Mikolas got demolished in hitter friendly conditions at Wrigley last week, but that does not mean he can't pitch reasonably well tonight in St. Louis. He had been in far reasonable form recently prior to that, and, big picture, Chicago's offense should offer him a middle of the pack matchup.
It's scary to think about the under here with Mikolas on the mound, and where the Cards' have been offensively. 9.5 at -108 is a high mark though, and both of these offenses are likely a little overvalued right now. Betting the under at anything better than -120 holds value.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.