MLB Betting Odds: Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The Chicago Cubs (14-20) and St. Louis Cardinals (20-14) will begin a short two-game National League Central series on Monday night at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET on ESPN

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

Chicago Cubs SP Ryan Dempster has received little-to-no run support during the 2012 season thus far

Chicago ended a 10-game losing streak to the Milwaukee Brewers inside Miller Park, capturing an 8-2 victory on Sunday afternoon, as the club continues its five-game road trip in this contest.  “That would’ve been a tough sweep,” commented Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who played, coached, and was an interim manager in Milwaukee before landing in the Windy City.  The club has split the first six meetings with St. Louis this season, but has dropped nine of its last 12 overall in this ball park.  Chicago is 1-4 as a road underdog of +150 to +175 this season.

Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02 ERA) has received just eight runs of support when being on the hill in five starts, with the club losing each of those efforts.  The right-hander has allowed two runs (zero earned) and seven hits in 14 innings of work on the road, as opposing hitters are batting just .146 against him.  In 47 career games (21 starts) versus the Cardinals, Dempster has put together an 8-8 record and 4.52 ERA, including a 1-1 mark and 5.29 ERA in three outings a year ago.

St. Louis suffered its first sweep at home since Aug. 22-24, which was capped off by a 7-4 setback to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon.  “They just fought,” stated Cardinals first-year manager Mike Matheny about the Braves.  The Cardinals were unable to take advantage of opportunities at the plate, going 5-for-22 with runners in scoring position, while also striking out 36 times.  The club came into the contest outscoring opponents by a 68-run margin this season, which trailed only the Texas Rangers (+73).  St. Louis is 38-19 as a home favorite of -150 to -175 over the last two-plus years.

Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over his last five outings, coming off a 6-1 road win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last time out.  The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA in three home starts, surrendering just a single home run in 20.1 innings.  In six career starts versus the Cubs, Westbrook has garnered a 4-2 record and 4.54 ERA, including a 10-3 win at Busch Stadium on April 15.  He allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven frames in that effort.

Bettors will likely back the Cubs due to their 5-1 mark when opening a series, while the Cardinals are 2-6 in their last eight games as a favorite.

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