St. Louis Cardinals vs Chi. Cubs Cubs Picks and Predictions May 24th 2024

St. Louis Cardinals vs Chi. Cubs Cubs MLB Fri, May 24, 20:15 pm.
St. Louis Cardinals
ML: 125
Chi. Cubs Cubs
ML: -150

Resurgent Cardinals Face Rookie Sensation Shota Imanaga and the Cubs

Cardinals’ Recent Success

The St. Louis Cardinals have been performing well lately, climbing up from the bottom of the National League Central standings with victories in eight of their past 10 games. When they kick off a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, they will confront a tough task in the form of rookie standout Shota Imanaga (5-0, 0.84 ERA).

Shota Imanaga’s Dominance

Imanaga has been outstanding, guiding the Cubs to an 8- 1 record in the games he has started this season. In his last two appearances, he has been very strong, pitching 12 straight scoreless innings, recording 15 strikeouts, giving up four walks, and allowing 11 hits. As per, no pitcher has recorded a better ERA in their original nine career starts since 1913.

“When you start getting in this territory, you have to be a little surprised, for sure,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re fortunate to watch it.”

Imanaga remains humble about his historic performance. “If I’m being honest, I’m not really too interested in my own stats like that, or any historic value,” he said via his translator. “But just knowing that there are so many good pitchers that came before me … is a good learning experience.”

Cardinals’ Pitching Strategy

The Cardinals will respond by transferring out right- handed pitcher Miles Mikolas( 3- 5,5.77 ERA), who is coming off a strong performance in his most recent outing. Mikolas secured a victory over the Boston Red Sox last Saturday after giving up one run on two hits in five innings. nevertheless, his performance this season has been uneven, with four games in which he gave up a minimum of five runs.

Last season, Mikolas plodded against the Cubs, going 0- 1 with a6.30 ERA in three starts. In his career, he’s 5- 4 with a2.58 ERA in 19 appearances( 17 starts) against Chicago.

Cardinals’ Bullpen Strength

While the Cardinals’ rotation has been bolstered by newcomers Sonny Gray, Kyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn, their bullpen has been the standout feature. Manager Oliver Marmol praised the bullpen’s depth and versatility.

“You definitely have answers,” Marmol said. “Right, left. Guys who aren’t overly splitty. Swing and miss. Guys if you need a ground ball. There are definitely more answers, for sure.”

Closer Ryan Helsley has been reliable with 15 saves, supported by set-up men Andrew Kittredge (14 holds) and JoJo Romero (17 holds).

“That three-headed monster is crazy,” Cardinals shortstop Masyn Winn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They’re different. For those guys to go out and give us quality innings, that’s great for their confidence. That’s great for our confidence.”

Cubs’ Recent Struggles

The Cubs, who have lost seven of their last 10 games, managed just four hits in a 3-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Chicago needed three relievers, including converted starter Kyle Hendricks, to cover five innings in that game.

“Ultimately we didn’t do enough offensively,” Counsell said. “The answer is to just come back tomorrow and have good bats and swing at the right pitches. And that’s how you have to move forward with it.”

Game Outlook

As the Cardinals look to continue their winning ways, they will need to overcome Imanaga’s dominant pitching to secure a victory against the Cubs. With both teams at critical junctures in their seasons, this series opener promises to be a compelling matchup.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
St. Louis Cardinals
O 7.5
Chi. Cubs Cubs
U 7.5
Marco D'Angelo | Handicapper

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Marco D’Angelo has been a professional sports handicapper and bettor since 1980.

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2024-05-23 11:36