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Friday brings a jam-packed slate of action in Major League Baseball. However, only one game begins in the afternoon, and it pits the Chicago Cubs against the St. Louis Cardinals. The afternoon tilt is the first game of a doubleheader between the two clubs. Chicago aims to play spoiler, while St. Louis aims to continue a 12-game winning streak.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Cardinals as -140 money line favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET in Chicago. Before you make any MLB predictions with the Cardinals vs. Cubs match-up, you need to see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is 193-164 on top-rated MLB money-line picks through 25 weeks in the 2021 season, returning over $500. It also had a banner 2019 season, the league's last full schedule, returning more than $1,400 on its top-rated money-line and run-line MLB picks. Anyone following it has seen some huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Cubs vs. Cardinals and just revealed its picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see its picks. Now, here are several MLB odds and betting trends for Cardinals vs. Cubs:

  • Cardinals vs. Cubs money line: Cardinals -140, Cubs +130
  • Cardinals vs. Cubs over-under: 8.5 runs
  • Cardinals vs. Cubs run line: Cardinals -1.5
  • St. Louis: The Cardinals are 5-7 against the Cubs this season
  • Chicago: The Cubs are 39-38 in 2021 home games
Featured Game | Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Why you should back the Cardinals

St. Louis is scalding hot with baseball's longest active winning streak, and this is a favorable matchup. The Cardinals absolutely mash left-handed pitching, including the No. 1 mark in the National League in slugging percentage and the No. 2 mark in weighted runs created. In terms of run prevention, St. Louis also sets up well, with veteran left-handed J.A. Happ allowing three runs or fewer in seven of the last nine starts after being traded to the Cardinals. 

The team's bullpen is also excellent, with a top-four mark in wins above replacement, an above-average ERA (4.01) and the No. 1 mark in home-run rate allowed (0.76 per 9 innings). In addition, the Cubs have struggled mightily on offense this season, including the worst marks in the National League in hits (1,165), doubles (204) and strikeouts (1,408). Chicago is also a bottom-tier team in both batting average (.234) and on-base percentage (.308), which should play into the hands of the Cardinals.

Why you should back the Cubs

The Cubs have tangible strengths offensively and they can lean on them at home. Chicago is a top-five team in the National League in home runs (202), and the Cubs are also speedy on the base paths with 78 stolen bases, a top-four mark in the league. Two hitters are particularly red-hot right now for the Cubs in 29-year-old Frank Schwindel and 27-year-old Ian Happ. Schwindel has a robust .720 slugging percentage in the month of September, bashing seven home runs, generating 19 RBI and scoring 17 runs. He is getting on base more than 43 percent of the time this month, and Happ isn't far behind at 41.8 percent. 

Happ also has six home runs and four stolen bases in September, with a .681 slugging percentage that can only be described as elite. Given that the Cardinals rank as a below-average offense in the National League in myriad categories, the Cubs could have the advantage, and they have been tangible better overall in the home ballpark this season.

How to make Cardinals vs. Cubs picks

SportsLine's model is projecting 7.7 total runs, and it says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model's MLB picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Cubs vs. Cardinals? And which side has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its MLB picks, and find out.