Monday MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Cubs vs. Cardinals (August 17)

Credit:

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Hendricks.

  • The Cardinals and Cubs will play a seven-inning doubleheader on Monday afternoon.
  • Brad Cunningham is playing the alternate total under 6 at plus-money, since his projections make the total 5.84.
  • Get his full breakdown and projections for Cubs-Cardinals Game 1 below.

Cardinals vs. Cubs Betting Odds

Cardinals Odds +155 [Bet Now]
Cubs Odds -180 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 6.5 (-104/-117) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 5:15 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

After two weeks off due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests, the Cardinals are finally back to playing baseball again. On Monday, they’ll meet their heated Chicago rivals at Wrigley Field for the first time this season in two seven-inning doubleheaders. The Cubs will send ace Kyle Hendricks to the mound in hopes he can maintain their lead in the NL Central.

Cardinals

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Cardinals’ offense was pretty solid in their first weekend back, plating 13 runs on 19 hits against the White Sox.

However, they aren’t very loaded in the power department. Outside of Paul Goldschmidt, they don’t have another consistent home run threat.

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St. Louis is in a transition mode of sorts. Mainstays like Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina are getting up there in age, while youngsters like Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman, and Tyler O’Neill are being introduced to the lineup.

Throw in the fact St. Louis struggled against sinkers and changeups last season — and that Hendricks has two of the best in MLB — and it’ll have a big task on its hands on Monday.

Cardinals Probable Starter

Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Kwang Hyun Kim comes over to the Cardinals after spending 12 years in Korea. Last year was the best of his career, as he posted a 2.51 ERA and 2.99 FIP. ZIPS projections have him rated as a fairly average starting pitcher with a 4.11 and 4.29 FIP.  The Cubs have been fairly average against lefties this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how Kim will fair in the majors.

Cubs

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Cubs have been on fire offensively so far this season. They rank fifth in MLB with a .332 wOBA and 111 wRC+. They’ve been doing most of their damage against right-handed pitching, as they’ve been pretty average facing lefties.

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They’ve been led by Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo, who both have a wOBA above .400 and have combined for 20 RBIs. There’s a lot unknown about Kwang Hyun Kim and how he’ll perform in the big leagues, so we’ll see whether Chicago can keep its bats hot against a relatively unknown pitcher.

Cubs Projected Starter

Kyle Hendricks, RHP

Projected & Actual Stats (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Hendricks is one of the best tacticians in the game. None of his pitches top out over 90 mph, but it doesn’t matter. He’s so good at mixing up his three-pitch combination of sinker/changeup/fastball that hitters haven’t touched him consistently this year. He has posted a 3.46 xFIP in his first four starts.

Hendricks’ changeup has been elite so far this season, allowing only a .195 wOBA to opponents, while producing a 33.3% whiff rate. His incredible ability to mix up pitches allows him to be dominant while still throwing at such a low velocity, similar to Greg Maddux. For example, you know Hendricks is on with his pitch sequencing so far this season when his fastball — averaging 87 mph — is generating a 20.0% whiff rate.

The Cardinals struggled mightily against changeups and sinkers last season, so look for Hendricks to feature those two pitches on Monday.

Bullpens

The Cubs’ bullpen is most likely going to be their Achilles heel all season. They rank 24th in terms of xFIP to start the year, so the Cardinals will have the advantage in relievers this series.

Projections and Pick

This will be a seven-inning doubleheader today, so the total opened fairly low at 6.5. The wind is blowing in at six mph today, which usually produces low scoring games at Wrigley. Since I have the total projected at 5.84, I am going to go down half a run and bet the alternate total of Under 6 runs at +107 (BetRivers), but I wouldn’t go any lower than that.

Pick: Under 6 runs (+107)

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