Joey Ricotta | June 9th, 2019
As of writing this, the Chicago Cubs are -163 Vegas favorites to beat the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. I wanted to start there because once the first pitch is thrown, everything is out the window and subject to change. Such a storied rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals. This season it has been a tale of two fields. The home team has won every meeting so far this season. The Cubs are 5-0 at Wrigley and the Cardinals are 3-0 at Busch Stadium.
It’s been well publicized that Adam Wainwright has a lot of career wins versus the Cubs, 16 to be exact, which is tied for his most against any opponent. Although he has 16 wins against Chicago, his career ERA is 4.02 along with a 4.04 ERA at Wrigley Field. He has also allowed the second most home runs out of any opposing ballpark at Wrigley (11). The highest lifetime batting average out of any Cubs player vs Wainwright is .258. That belongs to Jason Heyward who is 8-31 with one homer hit. Wainwright has had mixed results against the Cubs this year. His first start came at Wrigley Field where he went five innings allowed six earned runs and picked up the loss. His last time out, he fared much better, throwing eight shutout innings of two-hit ball while striking out eight en route to a 2-1 Cardinals win. The weird thing? He walked seven batters in that game.
Kyle Hendricks is no stranger to the Cardinals either. He has been lights out this season, ever since his May 3rd outing against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. In that game, Hendricks pulled a Greg Maddux, throwing a complete game 81-pitch four-hit shutout. Since that outing, Hendricks is 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA. Hendricks is 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA lifetime vs the Cardinals and has held them to a .235 batting average against. Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, and Matt Carpenter have had very little success vs The Professor. They are a combined 12-76, hitting .158 with two HR and 23 strikeouts. However, there are four hitters in the Cardinals lineup that have had success against him. Marcell Ozuna, Dexter Fowler, Kolten Wong, and Harrison Bader have combined to go 22-70, hitting .314 with two HR.
The Cardinals offense has been relatively cold lately, but there are a couple of hitters still swinging it well. Paul DeJong continues to add on to his solid campaign and Kolten Wong has been heating up as well. Over the last five games, they have combined to go 10-35 with two home runs. On the Cubs side, it’s been Willson Contreras, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber doing a lot of damage. Baez, as many are aware, is in the MVP discussion behind Cody Bellinger. In his last seven games, he’s 9-29, batting .310 with three homers and 10 RBI. Schwarber has been raking out of the lead-off spot, hitting .391 over his last six games with two home runs. Contreras is also hitting well, .294 with a homer in his last five.
Two of the big mashers in the Cubs lineup, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo have had slow weeks. In their last seven games, they are a combined 10-51, hitting .196 with only one RBI. They have very similar numbers vs Adam Wainwright, both have hit .250 lifetime against him with one home run apiece. They’ve combined to hit (you guessed it) .250 going 19-76 with two homers and 12 RBI vs the Cardinals right-hander. Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler have been silenced over their last five games. They’ve combined to go 4-28 with eight punch outs, batting only .143 during that span.
Fasten your seat belts. There should be a great game featured on ESPN tonight starting at 7:05 ET. The only thing better than one of the best rivalries in all of sports, is one of the best rivalries in all of sports being showcased nationally on Sunday Night baseball. I don’t care who the announcers are. If it’s a good game, it’s a good game.
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