MLB Odds: Cards Host Cubs in NL Central Showdown

The I-55 Rivalry resumes this week when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Chicago Cubs for a four-game set at Busch Stadium. Game 3 of this series will be shown Wednesday night at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN. The early projections have Adam Wainwright taking the mound for St. Louis opposite Kyle Hendricks.

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Wainwright (3.71 ERA) is enjoying one of the better seasons of his late career, although he’s still far removed from his All-Star peak of the early ‘10s. The Cardinals have split his 18 starts thus far at 9-9, driving the Under to a 10-8 record. The anemic St. Louis batting order ranks No. 26 in the majors with a .680 OPS, while their bullpen has posted a mediocre 4.36 ERA (No. 18 overall).

On the surface, it may look like Hendricks (3.65 ERA) has outperformed Wainwright this year, but don’t be fooled: Hendricks is giving up a career-high 1.62 home runs per nine innings, and generating a career-low 40.1% ground ball rate. The Cubs are still 12-7 in his 19 starts (Over 11-8) thanks in large part to their excellent bullpen (3.40 ERA, No. 6); Chicago’s .700 team OPS ranks 18th in the majors.

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