The St. Louis Cardinals entered Monday with an MLB leading 85 runs scored — 14 more than any other team. Their 7.08 runs per game is 1.16 more than any other team, and realistically, it’s not a mark they’ll keep pace with considering the Blue Jays’ 5.45 runs per game last season was the highest number in five years, but should bettors give extra consideration to the OVER in Cards’ games going forward?
Yes they should, especially in the near future.
St. Louis’ current OVER/UNDER record of 8-4 (7-2 O/U in their last nine games) puts them near the top of the league, and they just so happen to be opening up a three-game series tonight with the Cubs who are second in runs per game with 5.92 along with an O/U record of 5-2 in their last seven games. These teams have gone OVER in 10 of their last 13 games against each other, and in 15 of the last 22 times they’ve played at Busch Stadium.
Jake Arrieta and John Lester won’t see their turns in the rotation until later in the week, meaning the Cards will see John Lackey (owner of a 5.68 ERA through two starts), Jason Hammel who’s off to a good start but had a 5.73 ERA in three starts vs St. Louis last season, including a 6.30 ERA in two starts at Busch Stadium, and Kyle Kendricks who did his worst work on the road last season (4.47 road ERA vs 3.38 at home).
Of course it takes two to tango when going OVER or UNDER, and the Cards will roll with Mike Leake, Jamie Garcia and Carlos Martinez in the three game set. While Garcia didn’t face the Cubs in 2015, Martinez (Wednesday’s starter) posted a 5.24 ERA in four starts against the Cubs, and Leake has allowed more home runs (15) to the Cubs than any other team he’s faced.
Monday’s game opened with a total of eight runs, a number the Cards have gone OVER in 8 of their 12 games this season. Also worth noting in regards to tonight's game — both teams are coming off an UNDER in their games on Sunday, and in 24 combined games this season the teams have only gone UNDER in back-to-back games once.
Morale of this story — follow the OVER trend with the Cardinals until it stops being a trend. Simple as that.