St Louis (1-1) at Chicago Cubs (1-1)
When: Monday, October 12th, 2015
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 6:05 ET
TV: TBS Radio: XM 183, 81
The Chicago Cubs took advantage of some poor St. Louis defense on Saturday to even the NLDS with the Cardinals at a game a piece. Shortstop Addison Russell’s safety squeeze plated Miguel Montero for a 2-1 lead in Game 2. Center fielder Dexter Fowler followed with an RBI infield hit and right fielder Jorge Soler belted a two-run homer to center, capping a five-run rally in which just two balls left the infield. Left fielder Austin Jackson’s potential double-play grounder turned into a throwing error when Wong lost the grip on the ball and flung it into the Cardinals’ dugout. Jackson swiped third and Montero walked, setting the stage for the game-changing sequence. Kyle Hendricks’ safety squeeze came back to pitcher Jaime Garcia, who might have had a play on Jackson at the plate but hesitated. Garcia’s throw to first sailed wide for a two-base error, tying the score and putting runners at second and third. Those are the kinds of plays the Cardinals usually make and what makes them so tough to beat year in and year out. They don’t give games away. Now, they must face Jake Arrieta back in Chicago.
Arrieta has been out of this world in the second half of the season. Since August 1st, he’s only allowed a total of 4 earned runs. He then went on to shutout the Pirates in the Wild Card game. He has not lost a game since July 25th and is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA this year against the Cardinals, but hasn’t faced them since July 7th. The Cardinals will counter with Michael Wacha. He had a bad end to the season going 2-3 with a 7.88 ERA in five September starts. Wacha yielded 7 home runs in those five outings and lost to Chicago twice in that span, allowing a total of 10 runs and 12 hits – four homers – in 9 total innings against the Cubs. Wacha is 4-2 with a 3.48 ERA in six career postseason games which includes five starts.
You would have to be nuts not to take the Cubs with Arrieta on the mound. I’m not nuts and that’s why I’m going with the hot hand in this one. I won’t lay the -250, so I’ll stick to the runline. I think the Cubs will crush Wacha today.
Pick: Cubs -1.5 -120