Rogers' Afternoon ASSAULT >> RIDICULOUS 70-37-3 L27 Days!
St. Louis vs. Chi Cubs,
06/02/2017 14:20 EDT,
Score: 2 - 3
Money Line: -158 Chi Cubs
The set-up: The Chicago Cubs limp home from an 0-6 West Coast swing (got swept by the Dodgers and Padres) and I guess the good news would be that even though they are just 25-27, they are only three games out of first place in the NL Central. Visiting Wrigley this weekend will be the hated-St. Louis Cardinals who are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs and 1 1/2 behind the Brewers, after beating the Dodgers 2-1 on Wednesday and 2-0 on Thursday. Coming to town with St. Louis will be Dexter Fowler, who was a spark plug for the Cubs’ curse-breaking World Series championship team in 2016. He signed with the Cards as a free agent and the Cubs’ lineup hasn’t been the same without Fowler at the top. That was especially true on the team's recent West Coast trip where the Cubs scored a total of nine runs is six games.
The pitching matchup: Lance Lynn (4-3 & 2.93 ERA) will take the mound for St. Louis and John Lackey (4-5 & 5.18 ERA) for Chicago. Lynn is winless in his last four starts but the team had won his previous five starts, prior to these last four. Lynn is 6-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 16 games (15 starts / team is 7-7) against the Cubs. Lackey has lost his last two starts and deservedly so, allowing five runs over five innings in each. In fact, he owns just one quality start in his last eight outings (although the Cubs are 4-4 in that span) and has surrendered 13 HRs, including at least one in eight of his 10 starts. Lackey is 3-2 with a 2.56 ERA in seven starts (teams are 3-4) against his former team, including a win in his season debut April 6 in St. Louis.
The pick: The Cubs are struggling at the plate with a team BA of .235 average (ranks 26th). Making matters worse, Chicago is also having troubles with runners in scoring position, batting just .211. Team president Theo Epstein offered a frank assessment on the Cubs' flagship broadcast station. "We haven't played well," Epstein said. "Most of our guys are underperforming. We've made our bed, and now we are where we are a third of the way into the season. The only good news is no one in the division is running away from us, and we have two-thirds of the season left." A return to the "friendly confines" and a series with the hated-Cards should be a great motivator for Chicago. The Cubs went 7-2 in their most recent homestand and on the season, have averaged 5.08 RPG at home. Make the Cubs an 8* play.