Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN will feature a pair of National League Central Division rivals. The Chicago Cubs will be trying to avoid a three game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals on Sunday night. The Cardinals offense has powered them to victories in the first two games of the series.
Despite a rough start to this season, the Chicago Cubs continue to have the best record in the National League. The Cubs are starting to feel the pressure of teams like the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers though. The Cardinals are trying to make their way back into the NL Wild Card race, and a sweep on Sunday would be a great start. The Chicago Cubs are -112 against their rivals on Sunday.
Hendricks Looks To End Cubs Skid
The Chicago Cubs have gotten historically bad outings from their starting rotation this season. Chicago was able to acquire Cole Hamels in a trade on Friday in an effort to improve their rotation heading into August. The Cubs need Kyle Hendricks to pitch like he has in the last couple of years. The righty has struggled with command in 2018, but will try to snap the Cubs mini skid on Sunday night.
Javier Baez continues to lead the Cubs offensive attack. The All-Star second baseman is in the running for a National League MVP this season, but he can’t do it alone. Baez has hit a homer in each of the first two games of this series. The Cubs need players like Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward to break out in a big way on Sunday night.
Cardinals Finding Offense
The Cardinals have struggled to score runs for stretches of the 2018 season, but have been hot this weekend. Veterans Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna have been the heroes for the Cardinals this series. On Saturday, Ozuna blasted a 1st inning grand slam that proved to be the game winner for St. Louis.
The Cardinals made a flurry of roster moves on Friday in an effort to improve their beleaguered bullpen. Right hander, John Gant, hopes to pitch deep into the game on Sunday night to try to avoid handing the ball to the revamped bullpen. Gant pitched five scoreless innings against the Cubs in Chicago last Saturday. Another strong start on Sunday could keep Gant in the Cardinals rotation long term.
Cubs Avoid Sweep
The Cubs need a win on Sunday to avoid giving up the divisional lead to the Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago has the talent needed to win a World Series, but they must get better pitching from their starting rotation. Kyle Hendricks needs a strong start in the series finale to end the Cubs losing streak.
The Cardinals have played great baseball against the Cubs all season long. St. Louis appears to be figuring things out on offense, and are making moves to try to shore up their bullpen. St. Louis has struggled to hit Hendricks in his career, and that trend will continue on Sunday night. Take the Chicago Cubs -112 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday Night Baseball.