Cubs vs Cardinals Odds, Lines, and Spread

Chicago Cubs

Chicago’s Yu Darvish has won three straight starts, allowing just two runs in the process. Photo by @CubsZone (Twitter).

  • The Chicago Cubs are -182 moneyline favorites over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday (Aug. 18, 8:15 pm EST)
  • Yu Darvish (3-1, 1.88 ERA) will start for Chicago, while St. Louis will give the ball to Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
  • Read below for a preview and betting prediction for the game

Maybe a forced COVID-19 hiatus wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to the St. Louis Cardinals after all. Mike Shildt’s team was 3-1 entering play Monday night since returning to action, and were fresh off a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a doubleheader.

The NL Central rivals will square off again Tuesday at 8:15 pm EST in St. Louis, with Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish taking the mound for the Cubs.

Cubs vs Cardinals Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Runline Total
Chicago Cubs -182 OTB OTB
St. Louis Cardinals +155 OTB OTB

Odds taken Aug. 17th

Not surprisingly, Chicago opened up a sizeable favorite in the Cubs vs Cardinals odds, as Darvish will be looking for his fourth consecutive win this season.

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Yu Da Man

After a rough opening start, Darvish has been virtually unhittable, allowing just two runs total in his last three outings. Last time out, he whiffed 11 Milwaukee Brewers in 7 innings of work, while surrendering just a single run.

His strikeout rate is up slightly from his career average and his walk rate is on pace to be the lowest of his career. Opposing batters are making hard contact on just 31.6% of their at-bats, and his average fastball velocity is the highest it’s ever been (95.1 mph).

That spells trouble for St. Louis, because even though they’ve been winning, it’s mostly been in spite of the offense. The Cards are averaging just three runs per game in their last three contests and only one of their top-five hitters is batting above .200.

Cardinals Career Stats vs Darvish

Kolten Wong 5 2 0 0 0 .400
Tommy Edman 7 4 0 0 2 .571
Paul Goldschmidt 19 5 1 2 9 .263
Tyler O’Neill 3 0 0 0 1 .000
Matt Carpenter 8 3 0 2 4 .375
Dylan Carlson 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Brad Miller 14 1 1 1 5 .071
Dexter Fowler 11 0 0 1 5 .000
Matt Wieters 8 0 0 0 2 .000

A few of the St. Louis bats have had success versus Darvish in the past, but the way he’s throwing right now, it’s hard to imagine any team hitting him hard.

How Long Will Ponce de Leon Last?

The Cards will counter with Daniel Ponce de Leon, who isn’t exactly known for his stamina in games. The 28-year-old has worked past the 6th inning in just two of his 20 career starts, and lasted just 3.2 innings in his lone start this season.

That night he allowed three runs to Minnesota en route to a 3-0 defeat. He’s fighting to remain St. Louis’ fifth starter, but control is a big problem. He has a 11.9% career walk rate, but that number has ballooned to 16.7% in 2020. Walks at that frequency will be problematic against Chicago, who leads all NL Central division teams in runs scored. The Cubs rank seventh in MLB in batting with runners in scoring position and they’ll likely have plenty of opportunities to improve upon that stat on Tuesday.

Cubs Career Stats vs Ponce de Leon

Kris Bryant 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Anthony Rizzo 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Javier Baez 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Wilson Contreras 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Ian Happ 0 0 0 0 0 .000
David Bote 1 0 0 0 0 .000
Jason Heyward 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Nico Hoerner 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Jason Kipnis 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Ponce de Leon has pitched only 1 inning in his career against the Cubs, so most of Chicago’s hitters will be getting their first look at him. Normally that’s a disadvantage, but it didn’t stop Minnesota from roughing him up in his previous outing.

Cubs Will Control This Game

The level at which Darvish is pitching right now makes it extremely difficult to bet against the Cubs. When he’s on, which he has been for the last three weeks, he’s one of the best in the game and the Cardinals offense simply isn’t that threatening.

Also working in Chicago’s favor is its matchup with Ponce de Leon. The right-hander has shown no signs that he can work deep into games, which means the Cubs will likely get an extended crack at St. Louis’ 20th ranked bullpen.

Pick: Chicago Cubs moneyline (-182)

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Chris Amberley

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