Cardinals vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: St. Louis' Lineup the Difference in Series Opener

One of MLB's best rivalries renews for the first time in 2022 today, as St. Louis visits Chicago and Wrigley Field. The two clubs are headed in opposite directions and that has us leaning one way in our Cardinals vs. Cubs picks.

Andrew Caley - Senior Betting Analyst at
Andrew Caley • Senior Betting Analyst
Jun 2, 2022 • 16:09 ET • 4 min read
Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis Cardinals MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

One of baseball’s greatest rivalries renews hostilities tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals head to Wrigley Field for a crazy five-game weekend set against the Chicago Cubs.

The Cardinals enter this matchup winners of nine of their last 12 games and in second place in the National League Central, while The Friendly Confines haven’t been as such for the Cubbies who are just 9-17 at Wrigley this season.

With two young starters on the mound, who has the edge? Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Cardinals vs. Cubs on Thursday, June 2.

Cardinals vs Cubs odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

This game opened as pretty much a toss-up with both teams listed as -110 and the line hasn’t seen much action as of Thursday afternoon. The total hit the board at 8.0 but the early money has moved the number up to 8.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Cardinals vs Cubs predictions

Picks made on 6/2/2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

Best Cardinals vs Cubs bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2022 MLB season, here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can bet $5 and get $200 in free bets — regardless of if your bet wins or loses! Sign Up Now

B) New users can get two risk-free bets up to $2,000 at PointsBet! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only

Cardinals vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Thursday, June 2, 2022
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Midwest, Marquee Sports Network

Cardinals vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Matthew Liberatore (1-0, 3.72 ERA): Liberatore is in line for his third Major-League start. The lefty has allowed four earned runs on nine hits while striking out nine over his fist 9 2-3 big-league innings.

Keegan Thompson (5-0, 1.58 ERA): Thompson is the Cubs’ long reliever but has been called into action as a starter. This will be the right-hander’s fourth start of the season and he has given up just three earned runs over the first three.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Cardinals: Nolan Gorman 2B (Questionable), Tyler O'Neill OF (Out).
Cubs: Yan Gomes C (Out), Seiya Suzuki OF (Out), Jonathan Villar INF (Out), David Bote 2B (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Over is 5-2-2 in the Cardinals' last nine games overall and is 6-2-1 in the Cubs' last nine games when facing a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Cubs

Cardinals vs Cubs picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Cardinals and Cubs meet for the first time in 2022 and while the rivalry will likely be as heated as ever, these National League East foes are certainly heading in opposite directions this season.

The Cardinals have built up their 29-21 record thanks to a lineup that is deep and patient. The team ranks sixth in batting average and 10th in OPS while owning MLB’s second-lowest strikeout rate.

Tonight, that lineup will face right-hander Keegan Thompson. The 27-year-old began the season as the Cubs’ long reliever but has been forced into duty as a starter. No matter the role, he has exceeded expectations this season. Thompson has pitched to an expected ERA of 3.13 and an expected opponent batting average of .223.

The Cards counter Thompson with 22-year-old rookie Matthew Liberatore. The lefty is making just the third start of his major-league career.

Liberatore is a command pitcher with a nasty curveball, but his sinker is lacking sink and his fastball lacks bite at this early point in his career. As a result, he has an expected ERA of 4.78 and is giving up a .261 expected batting average to opponents over his first two starts.

While the Cubbies haven’t won a ton of games, they have done a decent job of scoring runs. That said, they are missing some key pieces to their lineup heading into this series.

It’s easy to see why sportsbooks consider this game to be close to a toss-up, but we’ll lean towards the team with the slightly better bullpen and the decidedly better offense. That’s the Cards. 

Prediction: Cardinals moneyline (-108 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

While the side in this matchup can reasonably be called a toss-up, the total looks like a bet you can have more confidence in — specifically, the Over. The early money pushed this number from 8.0 to 8.5 and we tend to agree.

Thompson has been solid, but his expected ERA is nearly a run-and-a-half higher than his standard ERA and this Cardinals lineup will be one of the toughest he has faced this season. They don’t strike out much and are the fifth highest-scoring team in baseball.

Thompson also hasn’t pitched more than five innings in a game this season. That means extended work for a mediocre Cubs bullpen that ranks 15th in ERA and 16th in opponent batting average.

On the other side, even though the Cubs have some problems, they aren’t the worst at scoring runs. They rank 13th in scoring and 13th in OPS when facing lefties. 

Liberatore also hasn’t pitched long into games, not going more than five innings in his first two starts. So, he’ll have to hand the ball off to an already taxed bullpen that ranks 19th in WHIP and 16th in opponent batting average.

Bet on this one to land Over the number.

Prediction: Over 8.5 (-102 at FanDuel)

Best bet

The lone man left standing from the Cubbies Golden Era is Willson Contreras. And he isn’t letting that keep him down. 

The Cubs catcher is currently in the middle of a seven-game hitting streak where he’s put up a .370 batting average and a 1.247 OPS — including him whacking two doubles and three dingers — and the matchup against Liberatore is a good one for him.

As noted, Liberatore is a command pitcher and Contreras is one of the best in baseball when it comes to barreling up balls in the zone.

He has also hit lefties well over the course of his career and this year is no different, hitting for a .310 batting average and a 1.134 OPS when facing southpaws.

Bet on Contreras to keep swinging a hot stick in this one and take the Over on his total bases at plus money.

Pick: Willson Contreras Over 1.5 total bases (+105 at DraftKings)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Cardinals vs. Cubs picks, you could win $68.19 on a $10 bet?

Use our MLB parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo