The St. Louis Cardinals (11-5) and Chicago Cubs (4-12) will begin a three-game National League Central series on Monday night inside Wrigley Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
St. Louis managed to win two of three games in Pittsburgh over the weekend despite going just 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position. The Cardinals’ pitching staff has been good enough to cover up the recent hitting woes in that department, coming into the Windy City with a 2.75 ERA. It’s still important to note that the team still leads the NL with a .281 batting average and is managing to score 5.1 runs per game. All of the above numbers has led to the club winning six straight series to open the 2012 campaign. St. Louis is 7-3 on the road and the “under” is 8-2 in those contests.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (2-0, 3.06 ERA) is coming off a dominating 11-1 home win over the Cincinnati Reds last time out, giving up just a single run and seven hits over seven frames. The left-hander hasn’t allowed a home run in his first 17.2 innings of the 2012 campaign. In five career appearances (four starts) versus the Cubs, Garcia is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA, surrendering just one round tripper in 28.1 innings. He went 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in three starts in this series a year ago.
Chicago has failed to win a series in the early going this year, which includes dropping two of three games against St. Louis at Busch Stadium earlier this month. The Cubs have managed to drop seven of eight games overall, as they’ve been plagued by sloppy play over the last three games, committing seven errors in that span. “We just need to worry about trying to win some series,” stated Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. Chicago is 3-4 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this season.
Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza (1-1, 3.66 ERA) has been solid in his two home starts this year, coming in with a 1-0 record and 1.23 ERA. The right-hander will look to bounce back from a poor effort in a 9-1 road loss to the Miami Marlins last time out, giving up six runs and seven hits over five frames. In four career starts versus the Cardinals, Garza has tallied a winning 2-1 mark and 5.32 ERA, including a 2-1 record and 3.57 ERA in three starts last year.
Bettors will likely back the Cubs due to their 6-0 record in Garza’s last six starts versus divisional opponents, while the Cardinals are 3-7 when playing on Monday.