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Cubs @ Cardinals: NL Central rivals clash in series opener on Friday

Cubs @ Cardinals MLB odds spreads and predictions

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals begin their series on Friday night.

Dakota Hudson tossed six effective innings, Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 on Thursday.

Marcell Ozuna, Matt Wieters and Matt Carpenter also went deep for the Cardinals, who avoided their first sweep against Philadelphia since 2006.

Hudson (4-3) allowed four hits and one run in his fourth straight quality start.

The Cardinals jumped ahead 2-0 in the second on a pair of solo homers. Ozuna hit his 16th on a 1-2 pitch the opposite way into the right-field stands. One out later, Wieters drove one out to right for his second homer in two days and third this season.

Gyorko's two-run shot in the seventh made it 4-1. Carpenter connected off Edgar Garcia as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Game information

When is it? Friday May 31st

What time is first pitch? 8:15 p.m. ET

Where is it being played? Busch Stadium

The lowdown

This marks the first road trip to St. Louis this season for the Cubs.

Chicago is coming off a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros but the Cubs have lost three of four games and five out of their last seven contests.

The Cubs had an off day Thursday after Wednesday's emotional game, which included a scary moment when Albert Almora Jr. hit a foul ball that struck a young girl.

Almora Jr., who is the father of two young boys, was shaken after the incident and wept into his glove as he visited a security guard near where the girl was struck.

The Cubs will look to bounce back against the Cardinals on Friday night.

Cubs @ Cardinals Run Line

The St. Louis Cardinals are giving the Cubs 1.5 runs in this baseball game.

The Cardinals will attempt to get their redemption in this series.

Chicago swept the Cardinals in a three-game series at Wrigley Field during the first week of May. The Cubs won 4-0, 6-5 and 13-5 in those ball games.

But this series will be different. I like St. Louis at home in this one.

Roll with the Cardinals.

Cubs @ Cardinals Over/Under

The over/under in this one is set at 8 total runs.

My final score prediction: St. Louis Cardinals 6, Chicago Cubs 4.

Take the over in this matchup.

Where the game will be won or lost

The St. Louis Cardinals will send right-hander Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.76 ERA) to the mound.

Mikolas is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season for the Cardinals, and he will look to build upon his most recent outing last Friday against the Atlanta Braves.

In that game, he allowed three runs over seven innings of work while striking out a season-high nine batters without walking a batter.

In six career games (four starts) against the Cubs, Mikolas is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

Chicago will roll with right-hander Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40), who also will make his 12th start.

Darvish allowed six runs on 12 hits against Cincinnati in his last outing, but he pitched seven innings for the first time since 2017 in an 8-6 Cubs win.

Darvish is 0-0 with an 11.25 ERA in one career start against the Cardinals. He gave up five runs on six hits in four innings against the Cardinals on May 4.

Daniel Canova
@DanCanova in MLB