Cardinals vs. Cubs Game 1 Doubleheader Prediction and Odds for Saturday, June 4 (A Perfect Swarm Gives Cubs Edge)

Matt Swarmer dominated the Brewers in his first major league start and hopes for similar success against the Cardinals
Matt Swarmer dominated the Brewers in his first major league start and hopes for similar success against the Cardinals / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The 22-30 Chicago Cubs saw their three-game winning streak snapped in a 14-5 St. Louis win yesterday. They'll get their chance for revenge in a doubleheader this afternoon with Game 1 kicking off at 1:20 PM EST.

Winners of 10 of their last 14 games, the 30-22 Cardinals are surging and sit just two games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Johan Oviedo will make his first start of 2022 after spending the last couple of months in the minors. He had an 0-4 record and 4.91 ERA last season, though he's still seeking his first career win despite spending part of two seasons in the majors.

Chicago will counter with Matt Swarmer, who is making his second career start. Swarmer limited Milwaukee to one run over six innings in his debut and compiled a 2.07 ERA across nine minor league starts prior to getting called up.

Can Swarmer slow St. Louis' offense down or will Oviedo finally earn his first MLB win?

Let's check out the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook to help find out as we analyze this Cardinals vs Cubs Game 1 matchup:

Cardinals vs Cubs Odds, Run Line and Total

Run Line:

  • Cardinals -1.5 (+130)
  • Cubs +1.5 (-150)


  • Cardinals: -120
  • Cubs: +100


  • 9.5 (Over +100/Under -120)

Cardinals vs Cubs Prediction and Pick

The Cubs may have something with Matt Swarmer. After several years of never breaking through to the big leagues, Swarmer spent the last couple of months mowing down minor league batters as things seem to finally click for him. He struck out 42 batters in 39.1 innings with only 14 walks, amassing a 2.07 ERA in the process.

Some pitchers need an adjustment period in the major leagues. Swarmer apparently did not. Maybe it was his funky yet captivating delivery, but I think his success stems from something more. Milwaukee had the second-best OPS against right-handed pitchers in May, but were *swarmed* by an onslaught of filthy sliders and managed just one run over six innings in the rookie's debut.

You see, sliders are Swarmer's specialty. He throws it on over half of his pitches and generated a 38.5% whiff rate on 49 of them against the Brewers. Corbin Burnes leads MLB in whiff rate at 38.3%, so Swarmer has a potentially great slider to work with. That helps explain his excellent strikeout numbers, and he's set up well for success against the Cardinals.

St. Louis, as a club, hit sliders poorly. Paul Goldschmidt crushes them (like every other pitch) but that's about all they've got. Cardinals regulars like Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill, and even Nolan Arenado are well-below league average against the pitch.

While Swarmer has a potential edge over St. Louis, the Cubs have a dramatic edge over Cardinals' starter Johan Oviedo. The 24-year-old was dreadful in the minors so far this year, giving up 14 home runs and 23 walks in 10 starts. He had a 5.58 ERA over that stretch and Chicago's increasingly powerful lineup should take advantage.

I'm admittedly concerned about the Cubs' bullpen, so I'll stick to the first five innings to take advantage of the discrepancy between Swamer and Oviedo. It's always tricky fading the Cardinals, but this matchup is the perfect storm of factors to give Chicago an early lead. A perfect Swarm, if you will.

It's sunny and Swarm outside today, but I don't expect to sweat too much with this bet.

Pick: Cubs First Five Innings (+100)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.