If Opening Night was any indication, the rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will provide plenty of thrills in 2017. The Cardinals host the reigning world-champion Cubs for the middle contest of their three-game series Tuesday after claiming a walk-off win in the season opener.
Randal Grichuk’s RBI single in the ninth inning gave the Cardinals the victory in the roller-coaster contest after Chicago’s Willson Contreras tied the game with a three-run blast in the top of the frame. Grichuk also hit a two-run homer in the eighth and is a career .271 hitter with 17 extra-base hits in 36 career games against the Cubs. “Speechless,” Grichuk told reporters. “Obviously, doing it against our (National League) Central rival, the Cubs, who won it last year, that adds to it. It’s just a night I won’t forget.” Chicago continues to give St. Louis closer Seung Hwan Oh fits, as they’ve accounted for three of the six home runs he has allowed in his brief career – including two by Contreras.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, CSN Chicago Plus, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
Cubs – RP J. Grimm (Probable, personal), RP B. Duensing (Mid April, back).
Cardinals – RP T. Lyons (Late April, knee), SP A. Reyes (Out For Season, elbow), RP T. Rosenthal (Mid April, upper body), RP J. Gant (10-Day DL, groin), RP Z. Duke (Out For Season, elbow).
WEATHER REPORT: The forecast for Tuesday night in St. Louis is calling for good conditions to start the game with increasing chance of a mess as the evening progresses. Temperatures will be in the low-60’s for first pitch with mostly cloudy skies and not much wind (5 mph). Later in the game there will an increasing chance of thunderstorms which will bring with it a 40 percent chance of rain. The wind will also increase to 10-15 mph blowing in from center.
HOT FAN BATTLE:
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (2016: 18-8, 3.10 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (2016: 13-9, 4.62)
Arrieta took a step back from his 2015 Cy Young Award-winning season a year ago but still won 18 games and posted the third-best ERA of his career. The 31-year-old had success on the road in 2016, going 11-3 with a victory in his only outing in St. Louis. Arrieta is 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals, including a 3-1 mark last season.
For the first time since 2012, Wainwright will not make his season debut on Opening Day. The 35-year-old is coming off the worst season of his career, but he won four of his five decisions over the last month of the 2016 campaign. Wainwright is 13-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 40 career games (31 starts) against the Cubs, including a 1-1 mark and 7.98 ERA in three outings last season.
* Cubs are 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
* Cubs are 41-15 in Arrieta’s last 56 starts.
* Cardinals are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. National League Central.
* Cardinals are 0-7 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
* Cardinals are 6-1 in Wainwright’s last 7 starts vs. Cubs.
* Over is 14-2 in Arrieta’s last 16 starts vs. National League Central.
Click here for a complete list of betting trends for this matchup.
1. The Cardinals signed OF Stephen Piscotty to a six-year, $33.75 million contract extension with a $15 million club option for 2023.
2. Cubs LF Kyle Schwarber, who was 0-for-12 in the regular season against the Cardinals before going 2-for-3 with a double on Sunday, is hitless in three at-bats against Wainwright.
3. St. Louis 1B Matt Carpenter is 1-for-27 with eight strikeouts versus Arrieta.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Early consensus on this rivalry matchup has 70 percent of the wagers on the defending World Series champs from Chicago and Under is picking up 59 percent of the totals selections. View full consensus data here.