The Chicago Cubs will travel down Interstate 55 to take on the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals swept the Cubs earlier this season at home, and have won 4 out of 5 games between the two rivals in 2018. This series features excellent pitching matchups, especially in the series opener.
Michael Wacha will start for the Cardinals on Friday night, and is having his best season of his career. Jon Lester continues to be the ace of the Cubs pitching staff, and is pitching like an All-Star this year. Busch Stadium will be packed with fans of both sides the entire weekend. The Chicago Cubs are -103 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Cardinals Struggling to Score Runs
The St. Louis Cardinals are going to have to find a way to score runs in this series if they are going to beat the Cubs. The Cardinals have scored 281 runs so far in 2018, which ranks in the bottom third in baseball. If St. Louis can find a way to score more often, they will win more games behind their great pitching staff.
Marcell Ozuna and Tommy Pham were supposed to provide the power for the Cardinals this season, but neither player has reached double digits in home runs yet. Ozuna is in his first year in a Cardinals uniform, does appear to be heating up. Tommy Pham looked destined for a monster 2018 season, but hasn’t taken the next step yet. If these two players start producing more power, the Cardinals have a shot to overtake the Cubs.
Slumping Bryant Holding Cubs Back
Kris Bryant is struggling through one of the worst hitting slumps of his young career, and it’s starting to worry Cubs’ fans. Bryant has seen his batting average fall to .281, after hitting over .300 for most of the season. The former MVP is also struggling through a power drought, and has been stuck on 8 home runs for a few weeks.
Javier Baez continues to lead the Cubs in many offensive statistics, including stolen bases. Baez has stolen 12 bases so far this season, which is already a career high for him. The dynamic player continues to make things happen for the Chicago Cubs.
Cubs Win Series Opener
These two teams do not get along, and this should be a very fun and exciting series. The Cardinals controlled the NL Central for most of the past decade, but the Cubs have flipped the script. Chicago is hoping to stay on top of their rival this season, and appear to have the talent on the roster to get the job done.
The Cardinals starting rotation has carried them so far this season, and Wacha is leading the charge. The flamethrower will be trying to shut down a struggling, but very capable Cubs offense on Friday night. The Cubs have hit Wacha well in the past, and look for that to continue in the series opener. Take the Chicago Cubs -103 behind a strong outing from Jon Lester on Friday over the Cardinals.