Las Vegas Sun

June 27, 2019

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Vegas Play of the Day: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

Goldschmidt

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt swings during the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The fifth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now underway, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

St. Louis Cardinals minus-124 vs. Chicago Cubs: $496 to win $400

It’s time to start buying on the Cardinals. The Cardinals have disappointed this year with a 27-28 record to put them only 1.5 games out of last place in the National League Central.

But that has scant predictive value going forward.

St. Louis has been better than that from a numbers standpoint. The Cardinals managed a plus-14 run differential despite a tougher-than-average strength of schedule over the start of the season.

At the beginning of the season, they were mostly considered equals with the Cubs, and to a lesser extent, the Brewers, by the betting market in the NL Central race. They still should be.

And at home with the more reliable starter, Mike Mikolas as opposed to Chicago’s Yu Darvish, they should be a bigger favorite. Soon, their lines will be priced a few cents higher.

Take the value with the Cardinals while it’s there, while they’re perceived to be struggling.

Current Standings: Keefer (35-38-2, $8,246), Brewer (24-23-2, $7,810), Emerson (11-10, $5,657), Grimala (23-25-1, $2,525)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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