Sunday Night Baseball Betting Odds, Preview: Will Cubs’ Hendricks Continue Dominance vs. Cardinals?

Sunday Night Baseball Betting Odds, Preview: Will Cubs’ Hendricks Continue Dominance vs. Cardinals? article feature image

Jeff Curry, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kyle Hendricks

  • Our MLB crew breaks down the Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.
  • See their analysis and best bets for this matchup, including full-game moneyline and first-five innings moneyline plays.

Sunday Night Baseball Betting Odds: Cardinals at Cubs

  • Cardinals odds: +150
  • Cubs odds: -160
  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • Probable starters: Adam Wainwright (5-4, 4.34 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.16 ERA)
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET on ESPN

>> All odds as of noon ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

The Cubs and Cardinals will once again take center stage on MLB’s Sunday slate when they meet tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET on Sunday Night Baseball.

Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks has been on a roll lately and his team has already taken the first two games in this series. Can he complete the sweep?

Scouting the Sunday Night Baseball Starters

Kyle Hendricks continues to roll along for the Cubs and it’s not advisable to go against him when he is on a run like this.

Since the calendar hit May, Hendricks has turned in six of seven quality starts, and he’s currently pitching to the best fielding independent ERA (3.18 FIP) of his career.

He’s living in the strike zone more than ever (47.1% vs. 43% career), giving up more hard contact (35% hard hit rate) than he has previously but posting the best K-BB rate (18%) of his career.

Though his fastball averages under 88 mph, he thrives off of deception with the fastball-changeup combination. His pitch mix (47% sinker, 28% changeup, 17% four-seam fastball, 9% curveball) has remained pretty steady in each season.

Adam Wainwright’s modified his pitch mix since the start of 2018, throwing his curveball (38%) more frequently than any other pitch. He also has a sinker (26%), cutter (18%), four-seam fastball (15%), and occasional changeup (3%).

His curveball has always been the go-to offering, with a career pitch value of +109. You might remember it as the pitch that turned Carlos Beltran into a statute to end the 2006 NLCS.

Unfortunately Wainwright no longer has the control of the strike zone that he used to, with a 10.2% strikeout minus walk rate; 6.9% below his career peak. He’s walked over four batters per nine innings since the beginning of 2018.

He simply allows too many baserunners and relies too frequently on generating ground ball double plays to get out of innings.

The Cardinals have the better defense and bullpen, making the full-game more of a coinflip, but I have Hendricks and the Cubs with a distinct 60-40 edge over the first five innings. — Sean Zerillo

Bullpen Barometer

In the Cubs 9-4 comeback win on Saturday night, they used Kyle Ryan, Brandon Kintzler and Tyler Chatwood for an inning a piece to shut the door on the Cardinals amid Chicago’s comeback.

Cubs’ top relievers Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. or Steve Cishek did not pitch on Saturday against the Cardinals, which opens up the pen if Hendricks gets in any trouble in the middle to late innings.

This season, the Cardinals have the edge in bullpen ERA (4.04 to 4.16) and blown saves (7 to 12).

In 2019, opponents are batting .205 against the Cardinals bullpen, the lowest among all teams in baseball. On Saturday night, Jack Flaherty only gave St. Louis 3 2/3 innings pitched after 3 walks and 4 earned runs on 5 hits.

After Flaherty, the Cards used five other pitches to get to the finish line. The positive for St. Louis? Their closer Jordan Hicks didn’t pitch last night and Andrew Miller has thrown a total of one inning in the last week. — Evan Abrams

Scouting the Umpire

Umpire Hal Gibson III does not have trends in either direction for the total, with a 80-80 over/under record for -2.15 units. His splits for the side do favor the visitor with a 80-84 for -17.59 units against the home teams. Per Bet Labs, the under has gone 8-3 in the 11 games Gibson has called balls and strikes this year.

See all umpire betting trends here

Both St. Louis and Chicago have road travel on Monday to Miami and Colorado respectively. While the Umpire trend is light in this game, Wainwright pitched in Wrigley earlier this season giving up 6 earned runs in 5 innings.

Many will point to Wainwright’s 120-plus pitch effort in Busch Stadium against this Cubs lineup last Sunday where Chicago scored just one earned run. The St. Louis starter only threw 70 or 126 pitches for strikes and needed plenty of defensive heroics to get the win. — Collin Wilson

Getting Trendy

The Bet Labs database for baseball goes back to the 2005 season. In that span, Adam Wainwright’s teams are 193-115 (62.7%), profiting bettors $3,289 on a $100 per game basis, making him the most profitable pitcher in baseball.

Recently though, that hasn’t been the case, as over the last two seasons, the Cardinals are just 10-10 in his 20 starts, compared to 89-45 (66.4%) the five seasons prior (2013-17). — Abrams

Kyle Hendricks has had a ton of success early in games at home. In his career with the Cubs, he is 46-19-13 (70.8%) on the first five innings moneyline, winning by 1.6 runs per game. The only more profitable pitcher from the NL Central since 2014 (Hendrick’s first season), is Michael Wacha of the Cardinals. — Abrams

Favorite Bets

Wilson: Regression to Wainwright’s numbers are coming against a Cubs lineup that will see him for a third time in a month. I would lay the -160 or so with Chicago and target right-handed batters in DFS against Wainwright.

Zerillo: Kyle Hendricks has been very profitable pitcher on the first five innings moneyline, has been consistently successful of late, and faces a pitcher who projects to allow more baserunners.

At the same price as the full-game moneyline, I’d play the Cub first-half moneyline or pass.

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