The St. Louis Cardinals had a rough weekend, getting swept by the Atlanta Braves at home. Still comfortably in first in the National League Central, the Cardinals host the rival Chicago Cubs. The last-place Cubs managed to avoid a three-game sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, but have dropped three of five and already have a series loss at Busch Stadium on the 2012 resume from last month.
St. Louis and Chicago have split six games, with the Cubs taking two of three at Wrigley Field from April 23-25. The Cardinals struggled with the Braves’ pitching but have a pair of hitters in the middle of the order as hot as any two in the majors. Carlos Beltran hit his NL-leading 13th homer Sunday and Allen Craig hit his fifth – a three-run blast that gave him 16 RBIs in just 10 games.
Cubs Cardinals Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, May 14, 2012
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, WCIU (Chicago), FSMW (St. Louis), ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76 ERA)
Dempster leads the majors in ERA but has yet to win due to some terrible run support. In his five starts, Chicago has scored a total of eight runs. Dempster has struck out 36 in 35 1/3 innings. The veteran right-hander is 8-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 47 games – 21 starts – against St. Louis. Beltran is 6-for-12 with one homer off Dempster.
Westbrook is coming off his best start, a seven-inning effort at Arizona in which he did not allow a run and struck out a season-high eight. The veteran sinkerballer has been helped by sharp command, issuing only 10 walks in 41 innings. Westbrook beat the Cubs on April 15, allowing two runs – one earned – and four hits in seven innings.
1. Lance Berkman went 1-for-5 in his first game off the disabled list Sunday for the Cardinals.
2. Cubs SS Starlin Castro had two hits Sunday after having a 10-game hitting streak end Saturday.
3. Chicago 1B Bryan LaHair has reached base in 30 straight games.