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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs (57-50) at St. Louis Cardinals (57-50)

MLB: Thursday, August 1st, 2019 at 7:15 pm ET (Busch Stadium)

Line and Odds: St. Louis Cardinals -115/Chicago Cubs +105 Over/Under: 8.5

Free MLB Picks St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

Chicago

Today's game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will determine who leads the NL Central. Chicago entered the series tied with the Cardinals for the NL Central lead, and they've split 1-1 so far. It would be pretty impressive for the Cubs to win this series when you consider their home/road splits. The Cubs are 36-18 at home and 21-32 on the road. Despite their poor road performances this season, Chicago was able to get the 2-0 win in Game #2 to even up the series.

The Chicago Cubs offense ranks near the middle of the pack of Major League teams. Chicago scores 4.98 runs per game, ranking 14th in run production. They rank 7th in on-base plus slugging percentage with an OPS of .779. The Cubs have an on-base percentage of .331, ranking 9th-best in baseball. This number is partially driven by the number of walks the Cubs' batting lineup has been able to draw. Chicago ranks 4th in walk percentage, getting walked on 9.7% of their plate appearances. The Cubs are more equipped to hit for power than hit for average. They rank 16th with a batting average of .251 and 12th with a batting average of balls in play of .298. The Cubs batters are top 10 in the Majors when it comes to power. They rank 8th in both slugging percentage (.447) and isolated power (.196). Also, they hit home runs on 4.0% of their plate appearances, ranking 9th in home run percentage.

The Cubbies have been better at preventing runs than they have been at scoring them. Chicago gives up 4.31 runs per game, ranking 6th in runs allowed. Opponents acquire 13.84 total bases per game, ranking 8th in total bases allowed. They rank 9th in opponents' OPS, allowing opposing batters an OPS of .730. The Cubs defense ranks 9th in opponents' batting average (.247), and 10th in opponents' BABIP (.293). Cubs' pitchers know how to effectively limit their opponents' nnn . They allow home runs on just 3.2% of their opponents' plate appearances, the 5th-best mark in baseball. Chicago ranks 8th in opponents' slugging percentage (.411) and 7th in opponents' extra base hit percentage (7.9%). Veteran left-hander Jon Lester is listed as today's starting pitcher for the Cubs. Lester has a 3.63 ERA, 1.325 WHIP, and a 4.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has allowed 9.9 hits, 1.4 home runs, and 4.50 runs per 9 innings.

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