MLB: Why Cardinals vs. Cubs Is the Best Rivalry in Baseball

The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs meet up tonight in Sunday Night Baseball. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with an 8:00 p.m. start time. Currently the odds for the game have the Cardinals favored on the road.

Both the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are under .500 this season, neither having the type of season they had hoped for to this point. With yesterday's victory over St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs have guaranteed themselves of their first series win of the season. Doing it against a bitter rival certainly has to help their egos as well.  Chicago hasn't won a series since taking two of three games last September from the Cincinnati Reds, but if they can get a victory here tonight over St. Louis, the Cubs are hoping it can propel them into playing better baseball moving forward. The Cubs haven't swept St. Louis since September 2010 in St. Louis and haven't swept the Cardinals in Chicago since July 2006. 

St. Louis is looking to avoid being swept by the Cubs for the first time in four years. The Cubs are just 11-17 on the young season, but the have now won three straight games overall. First baseman Anthony Rizzo is helping fuel the Cubs, having homered in three straight games. 

The Cubs have the right guy on the mound tonight in Jason Hammel. who has a record of 4-1 on the short season and an ERA of just 2.08 in his five starts. All five of those have been quality starts for Chicago. Hammel has held opponents to a .144 average with 27 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings pitched. A victory tonight would be his third straight, yet he is just 1-1 with an ERA of 5.79 against the Cardinals the past few seasons.

St. Louis will send Lance Lynn to the mound. Lynn is also 4-1 like his counterpart, but has a 3.60 ERA so far this season. The Cardinals have lost nine of their last 13 overall and are below .500 for the first time since April 8, early in the season. They've struggled on the road, losing seven of their last 13.

Yet, Lynn has been pitching well away from home — he's 3-1 with e 2.25 ERA on the road this season. However, at Wrigley Field, he's just 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his last three starts there. Either Lynn will pitch well there tonight or his recent history will continue.

Tonight we like the Cardinals to break out of their little slump. 

Free Pick: Cardinals 5, Cubs 2

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