Cardinals, Cubs square off at Busch Stadium

Oct 9, 2015 9:07 AM

Take 906 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS -106 over Chicago Cubs (3:30 pm PT)

Central Division rivals St. Louis and Chicago square off in the opener of the best-of-five NLDS at Busch Stadium in St. Louis where former teammates John Lackey (-106) and Jon Lester (-102) will lock horns in the mound matchup. The Cardinals took 11 of the 18 meetings in the regular season, though the Cubs won 6 of the final 9. 

Chicago (98-65) picked up its first postseason win since 2003 on Tuesday with a 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh. They’ll face a well-rested flock of Cardinals (100-62) who received a lift on Thursday with news that catcher Yadier Molina will play in the series. The veteran backstop strained his left thumb in a game against the Cubs on Sept. 20.

The battle on the bump will feature the lefty Lester against the right-hander Lackey. Both were members of the 2013 MLB champion Red Sox and each have been money in the postseason. Lester’s October record is 6-4 with a 2.57 ERA while Lackey is 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 21 career postseason games.

Lester (11-12, 3.34 ERA) closed out the regular season in strong fashion holding opponents to 2 or fewer earned runs in 5 of his final 6 starts. He made 5 starts against the Cardinals this season going 1-3 with a 2.59 ERA.

Lackey (13-10) excelled at home this season posting a 9-4 record and an ERA of 1.93. Two of those Busch Stadium starts came against the Cubs in which he allowed just 3 runs 14.2 innings of work. In his career vs. Chicago, Lackey is 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 6 career starts.

The Cubs are 3-9 in their last 12 visits to St. Louis but are 10-1 in their last 11 road games. Chicago is 1-9 in its last 10 playoff games.

The OVER is 7-1-1 in the last 9 series meetings. Tonight’s total is mostly at 6.5 although a few books have set the number at 7.

Bob Harvey joins GamingToday bringing with him over 40 years of sports writing and radio broadcasting experience. Check out my blog at Bob Harvey SportsEmail: [email protected].