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Cards and Cubs in Huge NL Central Matchup

Chicago Cubs

Cubs in Must Win Situation Against Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals look to build on their three-game lead in the NL Central when they open a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. The division winners for the 2019 MLB regular season are pretty much set – except for the National League Central. This is still a three-team race with two weeks left to go. The Cardinals and Cubs face each other in seven of their final 10 games. The Milwaukee Brewers are also in the thick of things for the division and wild card races.

TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX; LINE: Cubs -108; O/U: 7.5 Over -115.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26)

St. Louis stretched its lead by a game with a 5-1 victory over Washington on Wednesday. They upped their lead to 3-games when the Cubs lost 3-2 in 10 innings to Cincinnati. The Cubbies remain tied with the Brewers for the second wild card spot. The Cardinals have been outscored 40-16 while going 0-6 at Wrigley Field this season. It should like they are highly optimistic for this visit after increasing their lead before the series opener.

“We’re excited about the competition, we’re excited about the opportunity,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt told reporters after Wednesday’s win. “We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to get after it. We’re going to go out there, have some fun, play our game and lay it all out there. That’s all we can do.”

Chicago has lost two straight games after winning its previous five. The offense managed only four hits in Wednesday’s setback. The Cubs are 7-5 overall versus the Cardinals this season. Tonight will be without SS Javier Baez (thumb) and 1B Anthony Rizzo (ankle). Closer Craig Kimbrel (elbow) threw on the side Wednesday and is expected to be activated Thursday or Friday.

This, That, and a Dart Throw

The Cardinals‘ Flaherty lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in his last turn. He lost despite striking out 10 men and giving three runs and five hits over six innings. That is considered a good start in today’s MLB. Flaherty won his previous two starts in dominating fashion, though. He allowed no runs and six hits over 16 innings. Flaherty allowed one hit over seven shutout innings in a win over the Cubs on Aug. 1st. He is 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts).

The Cubs‘ Hendricks has been superb against St. Louis this season. He has gone 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA in three starts to improve his career record to 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 17 outings. Hendricks has won back-to-back starts and has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his last six turns. Hendricks is 6-2 in 13 starts with a top of the line, 1.75 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.

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The Dart Throw: Cubs 5, Cardinals 2

Mets Host NL East Leading Braves 1

NL Central Trends

Chicago Cubs Trends
  • Trend Over is 7-1 in Cubs last 8 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. Hit % 87.50% (8) O/U 7|1 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 5-2-1 in Cubs last 8 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 71.40% (8) 2|5 1
  • Over is 5-1 in Cubs last 6 home games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. 83.30% (6) 5|1 0
  • Under is 5-2-1 in Cubs last 8 home games with the total set at 11.0 or higher. 71.40% (8) 2|5 1
St. Louis Cardinals Trends
  • Trend Under is 33-16-3 in Cardinals last 52 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 67.30% (52) O/U 16|33 Push 3 W/L
  • Over is 13-6 in Cardinals last 19 games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. 68.40% (19) 7|1 0
  • Under is 3-1-1 in Cardinals last 5 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 75.00% (5) 2|5 1
  • Over is 11-2 in Cardinals last 13 road games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. 84.60% (13) 11|2 0
Cardinals vs Cubs Meeting Trends
  • Trend Over is 11-4-1 in the last 16 meetings in Chicago. Hit % 73.30% (16) O/U 11|4 Push 1 W/L
  • Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
  • Cardinals are 5-21 in the last 26 meetings in Chicago. 19.20% (26) 0 5|21

Stats are provided by Scores & Stats

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Mets Host NL East Leading Braves 1
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