Two bitter rivals will meet Saturday afternoon as the St. Louis Cardinals host the Chicago Cubs. After St. Louis took Friday’s game 3-2, the St. Louis Cardinals are listed the favorites over the Cubs on Saturday.
With Friday’s win, the Cardinals have now won three games in a row, helping them to bounce back after getting swept by the Pirates last weekend. St. Louis has now sneaked back into first place in the NL Central, half a game ahead of the Brewers and 1.5 games clear of Chicago and Pittsburgh.
The Cubs, meanwhile, have dropped three straight following Friday’s loss. That losing skid broke up the momentum the club had built up after winning 10 of their last 12 games to close out the month of April.
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Tyler Chatwood will take the mound for the Cubs on Saturday. Chatwood began the season as Chicago’s no. 5 starter, but outside of Jon Lester, he’s been the team’s best starter early in the season, posting a 2.83 ERA through his first five starts. He faced the Cardinals earlier this year and took the loss after hurting himself with seven walks over 4.2 innings. However, he only gave up one hit and struck out seven.
More recently, Chatwood has allowed just one run on six hits over 13 innings in his last two starts. Perhaps more importantly, Chatwood has good career numbers against most of the St. Louis hitters despite his control problems the last time he faced them. The Cardinals are also struggling to get some of their key players going offensively, most notably Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler, and Kolten Wong. St. Louis has also failed to score more than three runs in five consecutive games.
Starting for the Cardinals will be young righty Luke Weaver. After an excellent start to the season, Weaver has struggled his last three times out, giving up a total of 14 runs over 14 innings. The first of those three starts came against the Cubs, as Weaver gave up six runs on nine hits over four innings. On the season, Weaver now has a disappointing 5.17 ERA over his first six starts of the season.
Unfortunately for Weaver, last month’s start at Wrigley Field wasn’t the first time he got knocked around by the Cubs. While the entire Cubs roster has seven or fewer career at-bats against Weaver, almost all of them have multiple hits against him. Specifically, Kris Bryant is 3 for 6 with a home run against Weaver while Javier Baez is 4 for 7 with a triple and homer. That being said, the Cubs have gone eight straight games without scoring more than three runs, so they’ve struggled to get it going recently.
Chatwood has to feel like he has some unfinished business against the Cardinals after all the walks he gave up when he faced them earlier this year. He’ll get some redemption against a St. Louis lineup that is still struggling despite the team’s recent success. Meanwhile, the Cubs seem to have Weaver’s number early in his career. Chicago’s lineup appears more likely to have a breakout game on Saturday. Bet the Chicago Cubs +128 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.