It’s happening, the Chicago Cubs are making their run. After their 10-7 win over the White Sox yesterday, they are now 50-51 and have won five straight games heading into this four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals are fourth in the NL Central, just one spot behind Chicago, but at 46-57.
For Game 1 of this NL Central rivalry, the Cubs will send Justin Steele to the mound to make his 19th start of the season. The Cardinals will counter with Miles Mikolas at home. Steele is 10-3 with a 2.95 ERA and Mikolas is 6-5 in 22 starts with a 4.33 ERA.
The red-hot Cubs are actually underdogs in St. Louis for the series opener. Let’s take a look at the odds.
Cubs vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Cubs vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
The Chicago Cubs are the only team in the NL Central with a positive run differential and they are tied for eighth in the MLB with a +48 differential. That’s a really good sign for the Cubs and that’s why I’ve already bet them to win the division, a bet that is still very valuable at this moment. Chicago needs to hold it together through the deadline and not sell off pieces like Justin Steele who was an All-Star and rightfully so.
Steele could potentially have a tough time navigating the Cardinals lineup with Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt who typically crush lefties and are one of the hottest lineups in baseball right now. Along with Willson Contreras who is the hottest hitter in all of baseball by OPS in July. Though, even if they get a lead, I don’t have a ton of faith in the Cardinals to hold it.
Mikolas has been pretty good this year, but is coming off a bad start. That start happened to come against the Cubs and that was an 8-6 win for Chicago. Mikolas allowed five runs on 11 hits in 5.0 innings of work. The St. Louis bullpen has an ERA of 5.57 this month and is 23rd in baseball for the year.
The Cardinals are so hot at the plate this month, and yet the Cubs already took three of four from them just last week. Chicago is the best team in the NL Central and I love getting them as an underdog in St. Louis tonight.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change