The buy/sell dynamic may be enough for the St. Louis Cardinals to beat the Chicago Cubs and the MLB odds this Wednesday.
Are they the right pick for tonight? Let’s break down tonight’s matchup!
Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Wednesday, August 03, 2022 – 07:45 PM EDT at Busch Stadium
The Route 66 Rivalry has seen better days. Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals (55-48, plus-1.68 betting units) are Wild Card contenders in the National League, but they’re distant +5000 outsiders on the World Series odds board at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) as we go to press. Harrumph.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs (+200000) are toast – actually, no they’re not. Toast is good. The Cubs are 41-61 and 12.26 units in the red; they’re more like what would happen if you tried putting two stacks of $100 bills in the toaster.
Actually, we're a bit more interested in that 8-run total at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review), where the Under is priced at a tasty –105. Let’s do this.
Cardinals: Buyers or Sellers?
The Cardinals have been buyers, which may be just enough reinforcement for our lean. They were somehow able to pry starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery from the New York Yankees for OF Harrison Bader (.673 OPS), after snapping up Jose Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates for some prospects. Nice piece of work there.
Not that either trade will dramatically improve their chances of winning Wednesday night. The Cardinals already had Miles Mikolas (3.85 xFIP) penciled in to start, and he’s been solid this year, leading the Cards to a 12-9 record (Under 11-9-1) and 0.83 units in profit.
The good news for us is that St. Louis made it clear they’re serious about this year’s playoffs – and they improved themselves without eating into the No. 3-ranked batting order on the WAR charts at FanGraphs. Lars Nootbaar (.690 OPS) was out-hitting Bader this year; right on cue, he went 3-for-3 during Tuesday’s 6-0 win over the Cubs as –158 home faves.
We’re counting on more of that for our MLB picks. The projections we are looking at suggest that the MLB lines are pretty tight for this matchup. However, the Cardinals do have a recent history of second-half surges, and they should be plenty motivated after Tuesday’s deadline dealing.
Did the Cubs Get Anyone Good?
Maybe. They were obviously going to be sellers at the trade deadline, and while they didn’t manage to move catcher Willson Contreras (.818 OPS) or OF Ian Happ (.796 OPS), the Cubs dug up a potential hidden gem in RHP Ben Brown, the No. 26-ranked prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies system according to MLB.com.
It’ll cost them. The Cubs sent veteran reliever David Robertson (3.58 xFIP) to the Phillies in this deal, which will take a considerable chunk out of their No. 14-ranked bullpen. So will the trade that sent Scott Effross (2.94 xFIP) to the New York Yankees for RHP Hayden Wesneski, New York’s No. 4 prospect on Baseball America’s mid-season rankings.
These trades will definitely make it harder for Chicago this Wednesday. We’re still inclined to bet the Under. Projected starter Justin Steele (3.88 xFIP) has been one of the few bright spots for the Cubs this year, although he does have the Over at 10-7-2 thus far. Again, we’ll blame that on the bullpen, which blew five of Steele’s eight no-decisions.
How About This Heat?
Okay, it’s still scorchio across much of the United States, but that hasn’t helped the Over get the job done lately. The Under is 182-165 (52.4 percent) in the 30 days leading up to press time, and 50-32 (61 percent) over the past seven days. I hope you cashed in all those Over bets in June before the market adjusted to the summery conditions.
It’ll be hot again Wednesday night at Busch Stadium. Temperatures in the mid-80s are expected throughout this matchup, which won’t help our Under bet much, but some much-needed rain clouds are heading into town – and they might arrive just in time to affect this contest.
It’s a bit harder to say whether the wind will help us. The forecast at press time says the breezes will be blowing from first to third, at somewhere between 10-15 mph. This could easily change before game time, though, so maybe hold off before placing your bets, just in case.
Make those bets small, too. The potential profit margins on Wednesday’s baseball lines aren’t big enough to invest anything more than a fun-sized wager, but let’s give these a spin anyway, and may the sphere be with you.
MLB Pick: Cardinals ML (-160) at BetOnline
MLB Pick: Under 8 (-105) at GTbets
*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.