Cubs vs Cardinals Sunday Prediction & Pick (6/16)

Cubs vs Cardinals Sunday Prediction & Pick (6/16) article feature image

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Paul Goldschmidt.

Cubs vs Cardinals Sunday Prediction & Pick (6/16)

Chicago Cubs Logo
Sunday, June 16
1:05 p.m. ET
St. Louis Cardinals Logo
Chicago Cubs Odds
Run LineOver/UnderMoneyline
-105o / -115u
St. Louis Cardinals Odds
Run LineOver/UnderMoneyline
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
DraftKings Logo

The Cubs and Cardinals conclude their three-game series on Sunday at Wrigley Field with a pair of veterans toeing the slab: Jameson Taillon for the Cubs and Miles Mikolas for the Cardinals.

The Cubs responded to a disappointing loss on Friday with a calming 5-1 win on Saturday thanks to a lengthy outing from Shota Imanaga.

Who will take the final game of the series? Here's my Cubs vs Cardinals prediction for Sunday.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

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Chicago Cubs

The Cubs will bank on Taillon to replicate the form from his scoreless six-inning performance in his last outing against the Rays. That outing was nice for Cubs fans, as Taillon had allowed eight runs in his prior two starts. While his 3.09 ERA looks promising, his 3.68 xERA, 3.86 FIP and 4.36 xFIP tell another story about his performance. We'll see which version of Taillon shows up at Wrigley.

There will be plenty of action for the Cubs' defense since Taillon's pretty mediocre Stuff+ mark of 90 and career-low 6.51 K/9 should lead to the Cardinals putting the bat on the ball. The one thing Taillon has done well is limit the long ball. That's a great sign, as he struggled with homers the past few seasons, allowing over 1.5 HR/9 a season ago.

The Cubs' offense went dormant for the last week, scoring fewer than five runs in each game until Ian Happ uncorked a late three-run-homer Saturday. Perhaps that homer will provide some new life and energy to a Cubs lineup that owns a 95 wRC+.

Happ has been among the Cubs' best hitters of late, particularly against righties. He's one of four batters with an above-average wRC+ against right-handed pitching in the past 30 days: Michael Busch (131), Seiya Suzuki (126), Happ (114) and Cody Bellinger (100.)

The Cubs' offense could use more production from the top two hitters in the order, Christopher Morel and Mike Tauchman. Morel is hitless in his last 12 at-bats, and Tauchman is mostly there to draw up the opposing pitchers' pitch count instead of doing anything crazy at the leadoff spot. It's often felt like the Cubs have two outs pretty quick, which eliminates the chances of any lengthy rally. That'll have to change.

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St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals' offense has drastically underperformed this year, largely thanks to the decline of two former MVP candidates in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldscmhidt. While Nolan Arenado is hitting .385 in his past seven games, his 101 wRC+ and poor batted ball metrics (bottom 10th percentile in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel percentage) indicate his prime is over. Meanwhile, Goldschmidt strikes out a ton and owns a 90 wRC+. When two of the top four hitters in a lineup underperform to that degree, it's hard to get things rolling.

It's a changing of the guard in St Louis, as Masyn Winn and Nolan Gorman are bringing in the youth movement. The pair of youngster have been the two best hitters for the Cardinals in the past month against right-handed pitching. Winn is hitting .342 with a 154 wRC+ in that span, while Gorman has punched 10 homers with a 147 wRC+. It's a real fire-and-lightning approach with Gorman and Winn.

On the mound is a veteran righty in Mikolas, who could be due for some positive regression. The regression won't be drastic since Mikolas has a 4.34 xERA and 4.32 FIP, but it's better than his 4.85 ERA. The past six starts for the 35-year-old have been a different story, though. He's allowed just 12 runs (3.00 ERA) in his past 36 innings, including a blow-for-blow showdown against Paul Skenes earlier this week. Mikolas matches Taillon in the Stuff+ department at 90.

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Cubs vs. Cardinals

Betting Pick & Prediction

If you're hoping for a pitching matchup with two electrifying arms, this isn't the game for you. That said, I do have a play I like quite a bit.

Although 8-14 mph winds with occasional gusts up to 28 mph appear to play a factor in the pregame total of 11, neither offense is very good. The wind was blowing out on Saturday and the final tally reached six runs.

It feels like scoring more than 11 runs is a tough hill to climb, especially after the first two games of this series. The Cardinals scored three runs in the final two innings of the series opener, and the Cubs scored three of their five runs in the eighth inning.

Pick: Under 11

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