Already an intense rivalry, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will see that ratcheted up a bit on Saturday’s baseball betting card when a favorite of the Wrigley faithful returns to pitch against the North Side 9.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 2:20 PM EDT at Wrigley Field
This won’t be the first time Jon Lester (7-6, 4.59) will be on the mound at Wrigley Field since he left Chicago following six seasons with the Cubs. It will, however, be the first time he’s done it in a St. Louis uniform, so it will be interesting to see what reaction the Chicago fans have for the 16-year veteran this time.
It will also be interesting to see what online betting sites come up with for the money line in what will be the next-to-last meeting of the season at Wrigley between the rivals. The Cardinals came into the series red-hot and will undoubtedly be favored in Saturday’s clash as Chicago sends journeyman right-hander Adrian Sampson (1-2, 2.84) to the mound.
Cubs Thirteenth in NL with Four Point Eighty-FiveERA
St. Louis was pronounced chalk in both ends of the Friday doubleheader that began the series. The day-night twin bill was made necessary by a rainout just before the all-star break, and the Cubs started the weekend with a slim 7-5 lead in the season series. Chicago also held a strong 4-1 home advantage over the Cardinals, totals running 3-2 O/U at Wrigley this season. The clubs close out the regular season with three in St. Louis next weekend.
A 12-game win streak accompanied the Cardinals into Chicago, the burst putting them firmly in control of the second NL wild-card spot. The final four wins in the run came in Milwaukee earlier this week, the sweep coming too late for St. Louis to catch the Brewers in the NL Central but certainly serving notice the Cardinals are a dangerous team heading into October.
Chicago went into the weekend having dropped six of seven, and having been out of the playoff picture for months. The rebuild began for Jed Hoyer and his front office gang with the slate pretty much wiped clean in July trades. Pitching will be a definite priority in the offseason with the Cubs having been outscored 85-53 over their last 11 contests, nine of the last 10 going ‘over the MLB betting odds.
Redbirds Outscore Foes 77-35 During Win Streak
Lester was cheered when he climbed the mound in Chicago on May 17 to take on the Cubs. He was wearing a Washington Nationals jersey then, and Cubs fans cheered again when Lester was knocked off the mound in sixth having served up three homers and allowed five runs in a loss. It was the first time Lester had taken the mound at Wrigley as the opponent since an interleague start in 2012 for the Boston Red Sox.
September has been Lester’s best month of 2021, and St. Louis has been on the winning side of the MLB scores in six of his last eight starts. There aren’t many Cubs left with experience against Lester, though Willson Contreras did hit one of the homers he surrendered in the May assignment against Chicago.
After spending the 2020 season on Korean diamonds, Sampson was signed by the Cubs and made 14 starts plus a pair of relief appearances for the Triple-A side in Iowa. Sampson has been used by Chicago as a starter and bulk reliever and is coming off an appearance as the latter with four innings of relief last Sunday in Milwaukee.
The Cubs rallied for a 6-4 win as big underdogs with Intertops (visit our Intertops Review). Sampson’s only experience against the Cardinals came in 2019 while he was with Texas, and it turned out to be his first career win.
Souvenir Baseballs Could Rain on Sheffield
Mother Nature was expected to give fly balls headed towards left-center and Waveland Avenue extra help in the series opener, and the forecast calls for the same treatment for flies going to right field and Sheffield Avenue on Saturday.
Bettors will want to get updates to confirm, but a day in advance of the game found the weatherman listing partly cloudy skies, temps in the upper-60s, and a 15 mph west wind (out to right) for Saturday. It’s always tough, and often ill-advised, to bet against a streak like the Cardinals are on. That may come to an end in Friday’s doubleheader, but just to be on the safe side, I’ll back the wind with my free MLB pick on Saturday.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.