Cubs at Cardinals MLB Odds & Picks: The St. Louis Cardinals, leading the National League Central Division over the Cincinnati Reds by one game, will look to keep a hot pace when they play the reeling Chicago Cubs in the second game of a three game series at Busch Stadium early Saturday evening (4:10 pm Eastern). The Cubs will give the start to right-hander Carlos Zambrano in this game. Zambrano has a 3-5 record and a 5.85 ERA this season. The Cards will counter with ace Chris Carpenter in this contest. Right-hander Carpenter is 13-3 with a 2.89 ERA so far this season.
Bodog.com oddsmakers currently have the Carpenter and the Cardinals listed as -270 moneyline favorites versus the Cubs with a 7 1/2-run total. Cubs backers are getting +230 odds with Zambrano pitching.
Carpenter is coming on strong, with quality starts in all six of his games since the All-Star break and a 1.79 ERA in that span. The Cardinals have won all six of those starts, and they're 19-6 on the year when Carpenter takes the mound.
This will be Zambrano's second start since returning to the rotation. In his first outing against the Giants, he walked seven over five innings. The problem was too much movement on his pitches. He needs to have better command.
Albert Pujols homered and went 3-for-5 with three runs scored on Friday, leading the Cardinals in a 6-3 win over the Cubs. The Cardinals won the game as -230 favorites, and the nine runs went as a PUSH against the posted nine total set by sportsbooks.
Jake Westbrook collected his first win in a Cardinals uniform, allowing six hits and two runs over six innings. Ryan Franklin closed out the game for his 21st save. Thomas Diamond surrendered six hits and four runs over four innings in the Cubs loss.
Zambrano has a great career record versus the Cardinals but isn't currently pitching up to his previous form. The Cardinals are the best bet in this one but a little pricy at -270.
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