One of the National League’s fiercest rivalries will be renewed tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Chicago Cubs in a Sunday Night Baseball showdown.
St. Louis (31-23) will look to keep pace with the division-leading Brewers, while Chicago (23-31) continues to toil in full rebuild mode. Tonight’s nationally televised game will decide the winner of this 5-game series – a series the Cardinals might look back and regret when playoff seeding is finalized in October.
Let’s take a look at the player props and betting lines that currently offer value we can exploit.
St Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs - Player Prop Bets, Predictions and Game Preview
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (5-4, 2.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.64 FIP)
CHC: LHP Justin Steele (1-5, 5.40 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 3.22 FIP)
The timeless Adam Wainwright takes the bump for the Cardinals this evening. The future Hall of Famer has been as effective as ever, despite his velocity (vFA 88.6 MPH) being as low as ever as well. He’s the epitome of a “pitcher,” and he’ll have an extreme experience advantage over the Cubs tonight. From a seasonal statistical standpoint, the Cubs are categorically average against RHPs.
An extreme ground-ball pitcher in the minors, Justin Steele has adjusted his pitch mix this season. While his top-level numbers look awful, virtually all of his underlying peripherals (.342 BABIP, 59.8% LOB%, 3.82 xFIP) suggest better days are ahead. That said, he faces THE very best lineup in baseball against LHPs.
As a team, St. Louis has smashed southpaws to the tune of a .275/.349/.450 slash line, with a .350 wOBA and paltry 18.6% K%. This is a horrible spot for Steele, and a matchup we should be able to exploit on the offensive side for the visiting Cardinals.
I’m always interested in Paul Goldschmidt (.432 career wOBA) and Nolan Arenado (.409 career wOBA) against LHPs. Goldschmidt already has taken Steele deep once in just 3 ABs. He projects as the very top bat in this game. Hitting 2nd, he should see 4 ABs – potentially 5 – and have every opportunity to clear his median projection.
Tommy Edman has blossomed into an on-base machine. I do “worry” that his patience and lack of pop will give him a productive-but-not-betting-positive performance tonight, but he will have the platoon advantage (.301/.339/.522 slash line, .363 wOBA for his career against LHPs) batting from his usual leadoff spot.
My Bader pick is for the bold – or, rather, for those who think this becomes a blowout. (I do.) Bader has a career .252/.322/.479 slash line (.338 wOBA) against left-handers. He has elite speed too, which could help him stretch a single into an XBH. At +140, he needs to rack up 2+ total bases just 42% of the time to present betting value. I have his median projection as 1.0 hit and am happy to stretch in kind to back that hit being of the extra base variety.
Overall, I’m, frankly, not sure what Vegas is looking at. Multiple St. Louis hitters are in smash spots, while Chicago will need to scrape together their offensive output against one of the craftiest starters in baseball. I’m backing the Cardinals to win, and a handful of their bats to have productive nights.
- STL (-135)
- Paul Goldschmidt 2+ total bases (+105)
- Nolan Arenado 2+ total bases (+115)
- Tommy Edman 2+ total bases (+100)
- Harison Bader 2+ total bases (+140)
- Wainwright to record a win (+135)
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