Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Odds, Preview and Picks -- 10/03/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 3:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Where to watch: Marquee Sports Network, Bally Sports Midwest

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Cardinals -180, Cubs +155
BetMGM: Cardinals -175, Cubs +145
Caesars: Cardinals -177, Cubs +162

Season record (entering Saturday)
Cubs: 69-91 (4th place, NL Central)
Cardinals: 90-70 (2nd place, NL Central; clinched NL Wild Card spot)

Ben Burns has been around long enough to know that it's never over until it's over. Last night was a painful reminder. The Diamondbacks had a 7-0 lead entering the sixth inning, yet couldn't seal the deal. Off that tough loss and now 8-3 his last 11 MLB, Ben HITS BACK HARD Saturday. Catch Ben’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Cubs - Cardinals preview and analysis


Recent form
Cubs: 2-8 in last 10
Cardinals: won 19 of 20

If there was ever a time for Major League Baseball to allow players to rest their starters, the St. Louis Cardinals are in that category.

But I suppose all the momentum for the hottest team in baseball isn't a bad thing, even though it could all come to an end in the National League Wild Card game against either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.

The Cardinals will wrap up their regular season Sunday against the Chicago Cubs in the series finale in St. Louis. It'll be the final tune-up for a St. Louis team that no one would want to face whatsoever.

Tyler O'Neill hit two home runs Friday, and Paul Goldschmidt drove in the winning run on a walk-off single for a 4-3 win on Friday. St. Louis is hoping Sunday isn't the last home game this season, but there's no doubt the Cardinals have a tall test ahead of them later this week.

The Cubs had eight hits, but none bigger than Trayce Thompson's three-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Cubs a short-lived 3-2 lead. The Cardinals answered in the bottom half of that inning on an RBI single from Lars Nootbaar, who remains to have the coolest name in the league.

The Cardinals want to end the regular season on a high note, but don't be shocked if the Cubs take advantage of the Cardinals wanting to get some rest and look ahead to Wednesday's all-important game. St. Louis' tear to rally back from looking up at the Cincinnati Reds to now back in playoff contention is incredible.

St. Louis will send right-hander Jake Woodford to the mound to face Cubs righty Alec Mills.

Prediction


The Cardinals are half-way to California right now. Expect the Cubs to jump on that and end their abysmal season with a victory. Cubs win 5-3

Betting trends


The Cubs are 12-30 (-11.9 net games on the money line) as an underdog between +125 and +175 this season.

The Cardinals are 8-3 (+1.6 net games) as a favorite between -175 and -250.

Projected lineup


Cubs:
Willson Contreras (R) C
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Ian Happ (S) LF
Matt Duffy (R) 3B
Trayce Thompson (R) RF
Sergio Alcantara (S) SS
Trent Giambrone (R) 2B
Johneshwy Fargas (R) CF
Alec Mills (R) P

Cardinals:
Harrison Bader (R) CF
Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
Tyler O'Neill (R) LF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Dylan Carlson (S) RF
Yadier Molina (R) C
Edmundo Sosa (R) 2B
Paul DeJong (R) SS
Jake Woodford (R) P

Statistical leaders


Cubs:
Batting average: Ian Happ (.226)
Hits: Ian Happ (104)
Home runs: Patrick Wisdom (28)
RBI: Ian Happ (64)
Stolen bases: Rafael Ortega (12)
Wins: Kyle Hendricks (14)
Saves: N/A
ERA: Kyle Hendricks (4.77)

Cardinals:
Batting average: Paul Goldschmidt (.293)
Hits: Paul Goldschmidt (176)
Home runs: Tyler O’Neill & Nolan Arenado (34)
RBI: Nolan Arenado (105)
Stolen bases: Tommy Edman (29)
Wins: Adam Wainwright (17)
Saves: Alex Reyes (29)
ERA: Adam Wainwright (3.05)

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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