St. Louis Cardinals’ Dylan Carlson (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Sunday, July 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
- The St. Louis Cardinals are -160 away favorites over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday, September 24
- It’s the opener of a day-night doubleheader and the first of seven games between these two teams starting Friday through the end of the season
- St. Louis has won an 12 games in a row, the hottest streak in MLB
You can tell it’s late September because the weather is turning, pumpkin spice is everywhere and the St Louis Cardinals are making their annual playoff push.
The better-late-than-never Cardinals (83-69, 41-36 away) have won an MLB-best 12 games in a row as they arrive at Wrigley Field Friday for the first game of a day-night twinbill with the Chicago Cubs (67-85, 39-38 home). St Louis is 16-6 as an away favorite this season. That 72.7% win rate is second-best in MLB.
Cardinals vs Cubs Odds
|St Louis Cardinals||-160||OFF||OFF|
Odds as of September 24th at DraftKings.
First pitch for this game at Wrigley Field is set for 2:20pm ET. Clear skies, 15 mph wind, and a temperature of 77 degrees are in the forecast.
Happ vs Steele
It hasn’t been pretty this season for veteran Cardinals left-hander Happ. In fact, its pretty amazing the St Louis has been able to put together a 12-game winning streak while he’s been 1-2 with an 8.22 ERA through four September starts.
Happ actually has a win in a 2-0 shutout out the Cincinnati Reds and a no-decision during an 8-7 win over the San Diego Padres to show for himself during the streak.
JA Happ had a wonderful August. But, his September has not gone wonderfully. Although 7 of his 14 earned runs in September came in one game.
— Rodney Knuppel (@KnuppelRodney) September 21, 2021
August was actually Happ’s best month of the season. He was 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five starts. That was his first month with St Louis after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins.
He’s not faced the Cubs this season. Happ is 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA in seven career starts facing Chicago’s NL ball club. Happ’s barrel percentage (11.8) xSLG (.503) rank among the bottom 4% in the league. He’s also in the bottom 8% in wOBA (.364), the bottom 9% in xwOBA (.358) and xERA (5.72) and the bottom 10% in strikeout percentage (17.1).
Rookie Cubs southpaw Steele has made 18 big-league appearances, including seven starts but has never faced the Cardinals. Since moving into the rotation on August 10, Steele is 1-3 wih a 5.12 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.
Congratulations to Justin Steele on his first MLB hit! 🙌🏼 @J_Steele21
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) September 19, 2021
He’s never gone more than five innings in any start. Steele has surrendered seven home runs in 31.2 innings as a starter. That works out to 1.99 homers per nine innngs. Steele’s barrel percentage of 4.8 rates among the top 10 %of the league.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Cardinals Batters||Batting Average vs Steele||Cubs Batters||Batting Average vs Happ|
|Nolan Arenado||.000||Sergio Alcantara||.000|
|Harrison Bader||.000||David Bote||.000|
|Dylan Carlson||.000||Robinson Chirinos||.250|
|Matt Carpenter||.000||Willson Contreras||.000|
|Paul DeJong||.000||Matt Duffy||.308|
|Tommy Erdman||.000||Ian Happ||.000|
|Paul Goldschmidt||.000||Nico Hoerner||.000|
|Andrew Knizner||.000||Nick Martini||.000|
|Yadier Molina||.000||Rafael Ortega||.000|
|Lars Nootbaar||.000||Austin Romine||.222|
|Tyler O’Neill||.000||Frank Schwindel||.000|
|Jose Rondon||.000||Trayce Thompson||.000|
|Edmundo Sosa||.000||Patrick Wisdom||.000|
Cubs infielder Matt Duffy is 4-for-13 (.308) when facing JA Happ with two RBI.
Matt Duffy’s turn for a game-tying homer! pic.twitter.com/ny7JAdXQ4S
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 16, 2021
No Cardinals batter has ever faced Steele in a big-league game.
Cardinals vs Cubs Pick
These two teams will face each other seven times over the final 10 games of the NL season. St Louis holds a 7-5 edge in the season series with the Cubs.
The Cardinals have won seven in a row on the road. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has hit three homers in the past two games. He has an .844 slugging percentage during the winning streak.
The Cubs are 1-6 through their past seven games.
Paul Goldschmidt’s incredible season/career continues with a game-tying home run!
Cardinals looked dead in the water and have come back from down 5-0 in pursuit of a 12-game win streak pic.twitter.com/ZrGjtZ5A4X
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 23, 2021
St. Louis now holds a 4.5-game lead for the second NL Wild Card playoff position. The Cards come to Chicago off a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. That was their first sweep of the Brew Crew since May 2-5, 2013.
The Cardinals came all the way back from 5-0 down to beat Milwaukee 8-5 on Thursday. This winning streak is the longest by the team in 20 years.
St Louis is 9-2 against the runline over the past 11 games. The Cardinals win with pitching and defense. At 4.72 runs per game, they rank 22nd in the majors.
Pick: St Louis Cardinals (-160)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.