The Cubs squandered another opportunity of reaching the playoffs in 2012, but at least they are no longer the worst team in baseball. Houston made sure that nobody could strip them of this “honor” by losing 12 in a row and this got Chicago off the hook. The man who turned the team around lately is Paul Maholm and is this starting pitcher in which I place my trust to win the series for the home team.

Match: Chicago Cubs vs St Louis Cardinals

Bet: Chicago Cubs

Odds: bet365 2.40

The Cardinals are in town and when these guys visit Chicago they usually sweep the hosts, especially if they face the Cubs. This time they’ve missed their chance as the hosts rebounded after a game one trashing and won by a narrow margin. Their bullpen stood its ground and the starting pitcher did his job well, something that we are entitled to expect from Maholm as well. In conjunction with St Louis’s offensive woes, there is a good chance for the Cubs to survive another thriller and win the series 2-1.

The hottest pitcher in MLB

Words can’t possibly describe how dominant Paul Maholm has been during the last month, but numbers will do a better job. He won six consecutive decisions and with an ERA of 0.97 during this span, anything less than that would’ve been downright shocking. For him it seems to be merely a formality to last at least seven innings and if the wind fails to blow stronger again, he can hope for a complete game.

The visitors were unable to score the high number of runs that became their trademark at Wrigley Field and the starting pitchers were forced to carry the team. Wainwright is the next in line, but he already has 10 defeats in 2012 and an ERA of 4.31, numbers that suggest that he is no longer the dominant pitcher of 2011. Against the Cubs, Adam was rather sluggish this year and after conceding an average of nine runs per game he is still looking for his first victory against Chicago.

BetPal Tip:

Chicago is not the best offensive team by any stretch of imagination, but it isn’t the huge underdog that the bookmakers try to paint with these odds. Bet365 thinks that 2.40 is a fair odd despite the fact that the Cubs are playing at the packed Wrigley Fields, send the most in-form pitcher in the majors on the mound and have all but shut down the visitors in the second home. Arguing about these is pointless and unprofitable, but backing the hosts is a much more lucrative action.