St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs Odds, Preview & Prediction -- 09/26/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 2:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Where to watch: Bally Sports Midwest, Marquee Sports Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Cardinals -160, Cubs +140
BetMGM: Cardinals -161, Cubs +135
Caesars: Cardinals -160, Cubs +150

Season record
Cardinals: 86-69 (2nd place, NL Central)
Cubs: 67-88 (4th place, NL Central)

Ben Burns has put together a 9-3-0 stint the last seven days in MLB, putting up a plus profit of $3,160 with no signs of slowing down entering the weekend. Catch Ben’s and our other champion handicappers’ selections from around the baseball world, as well as our other predictions.

Cardinals - Cubs preview and analysis


Recent form
Cardinals: won 15 straight
Cubs: lost 5 straight

I have accepted the fact the St Louis Cardinals are not losing again.

Congratulations to the World Series champions. Thank you to all the other teams for coming, and thank you for making an effort.

I don’t care if they defeated the Chicago Cubs again on Saturday, nor should I care that beating the lowly Cubs extended their winning streak to 15 games. In this day and age in baseball, that’s still impressive and I can’t imagine this team losing in a one-game playoff and ending the season so suddenly.

So congrats to the all-mighty Cardinals because when they take the field Sunday for the series finale against the Cubs, it will be a quick, painless death and will result in the St. Louis winning streak being old enough to drive.

The Cardinals broke open a 5-4 game in the ninth inning on Saturday for the victory, which seems very on-brand with St. Louis. Harrison Bader scored on a third-strike wild pitch, and then Paul DeJong hit his 19th homer of the year for the added insurance. The Cubs added one more, but that wasn’t enough.

Tyler O’Neill crushed his 32nd home run of the season, and Bader added his 14th homer of the campaign to lead the Cardinals in what has been an unreal stretch of epic proportions. St. Louis isn’t catching the Milwaukee Brewers atop the National League Central. 

At the very least with this offense and how near-perfect the pitchers have been, the Cardinals are going to be a team that will strike fear in the hearts of the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants in the matchup to determine who moves on in October.

“It's an incredible feeling. It’s a complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field that we’re going to win,” pitcher T.J. McFarland said. “It’s that confidence -- I don’t want to say arrogance -- but it’s almost that motivation every time we come to the field, we’re expecting to win, and we’re rising to the occasion when we need to.”

After taking care of Friday’s doubleheader with ease to couple with Saturday’s win, the Cardinals have as good a chance as ever to complete the sweep and head back to St. Louis where the Brewers await.

The Cubs have something to be excited for, however. Adrian Sampson threw six solid innings while allowing only two earned runs. The starter did his job, and did it much better, than Jon Lester performed.

Chicago’s bullpen did not do its job. The Cubs gave up three runs in the seventh and then the aforementioned three runs in the ninth.

"Let's give him credit where credit's due," Cubs manager David Ross said of Sampson. "It's not all about development all the time. It's about winning baseball games. We're in the big leagues. He's done a nice job. Every time he's taken the mound, he's given us a chance to win ballgames."

The Cubs will send Keegan Thompson to the mound in hopes of ending the long winning streak, as the Cardinals send Jake Woodford to the mound.

Prediction


Just when you thought the Cardinals were going to lay down and let the streak die, they pull that mess in the final three innings. So once again, until proven otherwise, the Cardinals are going to just keep on winning and do what they want. Cardinals win 9-4

Betting trends


The Cardinals are 11-2 as a road favorite of -125 or more this season.

The Cubs are 6-17 when a home underdog of at least +125 this season.

Players to watch


Cardinals: Entering Saturday, O’Neill was batting .309 with six home runs during the winning streak.

Cubs: Ian Happ, who drove in three runs on Saturday, is batting .350 in September.

Projected lineup


Cardinals:
Tommy Edman (S) 2B
Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
Tyler O’Neill (R) LF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Dylan Carlson (S) RF
Edmundo Sosa (R) SS
Harrison Bader (R) CF
Andrew Knizner (R) C
Jake Woodford (R)  P

Cubs:
Willson Contreras (R) C
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Ian Happ (S) RF
Patrick Wisdom (R) LF
Matt Duffy (R) 3B
Nico Hoerner (R) SS
David Bote (R) 2B
Trayce Thompson (R) CF
Keegan Thompson (R) P

Statistical leaders


Cardinals:
Batting average: Paul Goldschmidt (.294)
Hits: Paul Goldschmidt (172)
Home runs: Nolan Arenado (33)
RBI: Nolan Arenado (103)
Stolen bases: Tommy Edman (28)
Wins: Adam Wainwright (16)
Saves: Alex Reyes (29)
ERA: Adam Wainwright (3.05)

Cubs:
Batting average: Ian Happ (.227)
Hits: Ian Happ (100)
Home runs: Patrick Wisdom (28)
RBI: Ian Happ (63)
Stolen bases: Rafael Ortega (9)
Wins: Kyle Hendricks (14) 
Saves: Rowan Wick (4)
ERA: Kyle Hendricks (4.81)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

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

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