The St. Louis Cardinals open up a three-game series at home with the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
The Cardinals had a day off following a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates in a quick two-game series. On the other side, the Cubs took three of four from the Washington Nationals and are currently three games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central standings.
For Friday night’s game, the Cubs are the slight road favorite at -125 at BetMGM while the Cardinals have +105 odds. I’m going to side with the Cardinals at home.
The Cubs are slated to have Kyle Hendricks on the mound. Hendricks has a 5.27 earned-run average this season thanks to two rough outings back in April. Since then, he has righted the ship to an extent. Though he did get knocked around quite a bit against the Pirates on May 9, he allowed only one run in two of his last three starts, including an eight-inning outing against the Detroit Tigers in his most-recent start.
The Cardinals present a much tougher challenge than the Tigers, and I like the idea of going with the Cards as a home underdog. The Cardinals, who will trot out righty Carlos Martinez, are 14-8 at home this year and 4-2 straight-up as a home underdog.
The Cubs are just 6-12 on the road this year, and Hendricks has a 6.17 ERA in his two road appearances. He has pitched just 11.2 innings over those two starts and allowed 19 hits and eight earned runs.
And if you want to go with the Cardinals on the +1.5 run line (at -155), you’d be betting on a team with a 15-7 run line record as an underdog, including a 5-1 mark at home. I’d rather take my chances on the moneyline — especially at plus money for a team that wants to extend its lead in the division.
The Phillies have ace Aaron Nola on the mound, but I'm still going with Boston is +135 on the moneyline. Nola hasn't been very sharp in his recent starts and the Phillies have been a very inconsistent team this season.
I like Boston to ride the momentum from their dramatic comeback win over the Blue Jays into Game 1 of this series in Philly. Boston is 11-4 straight up this season as an underdog with a 7-2 record as a road underdog.
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