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|Team||Run spread||Total||Money Line|
|Chicago Cubs||-1.5 +128||O 8.5 -122||-125|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1.5 -152||U 8.5 +102||+108|
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Cubs games have been particularly hard to pick this season. Even though they’re 10-3 overall, they’re 6-7 against the spread. The over/under is 7-6 in their 13 contests as well. It’s tough to pick the Cardinals who haven’t played in more than a week, but Flaherty should be able to take advantage of a lineup that was cold yesterday.
Cardinals to win +108
Record through 8/6 (9-9-1)
Cardinals are 6-2 in their last Game 1 of a series.
Over is 5-1 in Cardinals last six Game 1 of a series.
Over is 5-1 in Cardinals last 6 vs. National League Central.
Cardinals are 31-15 in their last 46 games as a favorite.
|Chicago Cubs vs St Louis Cardinals Information|
|What||Chicago Cubs vs St Louis Cardinals|
|Where||Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO|
|When||Friday, August 7, 2020, 8:15 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
The Covid-19 shortened 2020 season will feature lots of wacky facts and figures. But even in a time like that, it’s not often when you’ll find teams tied in the loss column that have a difference of eight total games in the win column.
But that’s the case as the Cubs have played 13 games and the Cardinals only five thus far after missing the past week due to a Covid-19 outbreak. A few players visited a casino last week which led to 13 total positive cases in the organization – seven players and six staff – and is the reason St. Louis hasn’t played since July 29.
Don’t forget, the Cardinals weren’t exactly hot when we last saw them, dropping the series finale to the Pirates before losing two to the Twins. But still, after being forced to quarantine in Milwaukee the past week, Cardinals players are happy to just get back home.
While nobody can know how the Cardinals will respond after the longest layoff in the middle of a season that the organization has had since at least the 1994 strike, it’s a pretty safe bet that their starting pitcher will be ready.
Jack Flaherty, one of the best young pitchers in the game opened the season with an impressive outing and should be in a similar form on Friday. The 24-year-old got the win over Pittsburgh on Opening Day, going seven innings and striking out six while surrendering just two runs and six hits.
Flaherty finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 and fourth in Cy Young voting last year when he exploded onto the scene.
Flaherty faced the Cubs six times last season and seemingly got better each game. In the first three appearances, the Cardinals went 1-2 and he went 0-1, never making it out of the sixth inning. In his final three appearances against Chicago, he went 2-0 with the team winning all three games, throwing seven or more innings, and striking out six or more in each contest.
If the Cubs were a football team, Thursday’s game would be one where you “burn the film” and just move on. Chicago had its best start in 50 years, opening the season 10-2, its best record through 12 games since its 11-1 beginning to the 1969 season.
That came crashing down on Friday after a 13-2 loss to Kansas City but doesn’t take away from what Chicago is doing well: starting pitching and offense. It also doesn’t hide what isn’t going well for the North siders: the bullpen.
Entering play on Thursday, the Cubs starting rotation had the best ERA in the majors while their bullpen was dead last in all of baseball. Should the Cubs figure out any semblance of reliability on the back end, this team goes from one to watch to dangerous.
Kris Bryant has been ice cold in the 2020 season. The career .283 hitter is down nearly 100 points, hitting .184 in 10 games played. His sub-.300 OBP and .620 OPS are also on pace for what would far and away be the lowest numbers of his career.
Bryant is getting used to his new leadoff position in manager David Ross’ lineup but there are certainly reasons to question leaving him there. The argument for letting him figure it out atop the lineup is the Cubs are on top of the NL Central, with the best record in the league at 10-3. The argument against is in order to make noise this postseason and the rest of the year, they’ll need Bryant’s services.
The rest of the Cubs batting order is doing just fine. More than fine, really, coming into play third in the MLB in team OPS (.779) and slugging (.443) and sixth in OBP (.336).
Ian Happ is tied for the team lead in home runs (3) and paces the squad in OPS (1.047), Wilson Contreras has the best batting average on the team (.308) and Javy Baez has driven in a team-leading nine runs.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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