Cubs vs Cardinals Picks and Predictions: St. Louis is Vulnerable with Mikolas on the Mound

Chicago's playoff chances may be in the tank, but that won't stop them from taking tonight seriously against their arch-rivals in St. Louis. At +155 value, we're rolling with the Cubbies on the moneyline — read more in our Cubs vs. Cardinals betting picks.

Last Updated: Aug 3, 2022 4:02 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Willson Contreras Chicago Cubs
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline was interesting for both the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals improved their rotation depth with some uninspiring moves while the Cubs held on to Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. 

Now, the National League’s oldest rivals can focus on the second half when they continue their three-game set at Busch Stadium. The Cards will be big favorites as they hand the ball to All-Star Miles Mikolas, but is there value with the Cubbies as underdogs tonight?

Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Cubs vs. Cardinals on Wednesday, August 3. 

Cubs vs Cardinals odds

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

The Cardinals opened this National League Central matchup at around -175, and they still sit in that range as of Wednesday afternoon. The total hit the board at 8.0, but most sportsbooks are juiced to the Over or as starting to shift 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.

Cubs vs Cardinals predictions

Picks made on 8/03/2022 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Cubs vs Cardinals game info

Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022
First pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET
TV: MARQ, Bally Sports

Cubs vs Cardinals betting preview

Starting pitchers

Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86 ERA): Steele has arguably become the Cubs' most reliable arm this season, and the left-hander comes into this game having allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts.

Miles Mikolas (8-8, 2.86 ERA): Mikolas bounced back after one of his worst starts of the season by limiting the Nationals to two runs over seven innings. It was the eighth time in 10 starts where he's held an opponent to two runs or fewer.  

Weather

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

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 7-1 in the Cubs' last eight games overall and is 10-1-2 in the Cardinals' last 13 games when facing a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Cubs vs. Cardinals

Cubs vs Cardinals 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

Willson Contreras and Ian Happ clearly looked happy to be staying in Chicago, but that didn’t translate to a win, as the Cardinals took the opener of this series 6-0. It was the Cubs' fourth loss in their last five games, but there might be some value in them to bounce back tonight.

While the Cardinals hand the ball to an All-Star in Miles Mikolas, the 33-year-old right-hander has been more mediocre than his 2.86 ERA suggests. His expected ERA sits a 3.62, and is giving up a .246 expected batting average to opponents. 

Mikolas also has mixed results against the Cubs this season. In a June 25 start, he allowed just one run on four hits in six innings. However, in a matchup on June 3, the Cubs got to him for four runs on eight hits over five frames. 

For all the Cubbies' troubles, they have done a reasonably good job when facing right-handers this season, ranking 11th in batting average and 17th in OPS.

Meanwhile, Chicago counters with left-hander Justin Steele. The southpaw is in a groove and has a 2.05 ERA over his last five starts, lowering his xERA to 3.72. Steele was also solid in a June 5 matchup against the Cards, holding them to one earned run on seven hits over seven innings.

The Cubs should not be underdogs this large with Steele on the hill, in a rivalry as intense as this one. The value is with the Cubbies at this number.

Prediction: Cubs moneyline (+155 at bet365)

Over/Under analysis

When it comes to the total, the early money is on the Over, but let that number rise and then jump on the Under. 

Mikolas has some numbers that are a little inflated, but he still doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and, in turn, doesn’t give a lot of baserunners, as evidenced by his 0.99 WHIP. On top of that, Mikolas has limited opponents to two earned runs or fewer in 16 of his 21 starts while averaging 6.3 innings per appearance. Not only is he not giving up many runs, but he’s also pitching deep into ball games.

Meanwhile, Steele gives up a few more walks, but the lefty does a great job of limiting hard contact, sitting in the 80th percentile in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. That has allowed him to limit the damage as well, allowing two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last nine starts.

The starting pitching will be strong enough in this one to keep the game Under the total.

Prediction: Under 8.5 (-115 at FanDuel)

Best bet

While it's easy to like the starting pitching in this matchup, the Cubs’ bullpen, which already ranked 20th in ERA, just dealt its closer in David Robertson. Let’s eliminate the Cubs’ questionable relievers from this equation and take the Under first-five innings. 

Pick: Under 4.5 first five innings (-122 at FanDuel)

MLB parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s MLB Cubs vs. Cardinals picks, you could win $76.75 on a $10 bet?

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

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