The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are considered the most bitter rivals in baseball, but we might be overlooking the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. There is no doubt that the Cubs and Cardinals have the most bitter rivalry in the Midwest, and there is no love lost when these two teams take the field.
The Cubs and Cardinals have been the class of the National League Central in the last decade, and odds are that this rivalry will continue to grow as we head into the 2020’s. The state of Illinois seems to be split right down the middle between Cubs and Cardinals fans, and central Illinois is at the heart of the rivalry. Throw records out the door and forget trying to make a prediction on how a game will go when the Cubs and Cardinals meet up.
History of Cubs and Cardinals Rivalry
The Cubs and Cardinals rivalry dates all the way back to April 12, 1892. The first game was played at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, and the Chicago Colts defeated the St. Louis Browns by a score of 14-10. While the names and logos have changed throughout the years, the rivalry has always been intense between the St. Louis and Chicago ball clubs.
The two teams have met a whopping 2,420 times through the years, and the Cubs hold a slim 1,230-1,171-19 lead over their hated rivals. The Cubs and Cardinals also played a huge role in saving baseball during the 1998 season when sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the country with their epic home run battle. St. Louis and Chicago have competed against each other in the National League Central division since the 1994 season when the league expanded.
The Chicago Cubs franchise dates all the way back to 1876, and they have been in the National League ever since the team was founded. The Cubs were originally known as the White Stockings, but became the Cubs in 1903. Wrigley Field has been the home of the Chicago Cubs since the 1916 season and is the second-oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.
The Cubs went through the longest championship drought in professional sports history, snapping the 108-year run with a World Series Championship in 2016. Chicago was one of the most dominant teams during the early 1900’s but suffered through decades of futility with a lack of stars on their roster. The 2019 Cubs enter the season as one of the World Series favorites with a collection of talented young stars.
The St. Louis franchise came a few years after the Chicago Cubs, getting their start during the 1892 season. The team entered the National League as the St. Louis Browns before changing their name to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900. St. Louis moved into Busch Stadium before the 2006 season and have been playing their games there ever since. The Cardinals have been one of the most successful teams in National League history, but they have seen their rivals move past them in recent seasons. Odds are that the Cardinals will once again return to the top of the National League in the very near future.
Head to Head Comparison of Cubs vs. Cardinals
It’s hard to make predictions for what will happen in the future, but the Cardinals have the much more storied past in this rivalry. St. Louis has the most World Series titles in National League history with 11, while the Cubs have won just three world championships. The Cubs have won 17 National League pennants while the Cardinals have won 19, but St. Louis has been able to beat the odds and win it all more times than the Cubs.
With such storied franchises, it is no surprise that these two teams have produced some of the most famous baseball players in league history. Stan Musial and Ozzie Smith are two of the most famous players to wear a Cardinals uniform, and are two of 11 Cardinals in the Hall of Fame. The Cubs also have had 11 Hall of Fame players in their history, with Ernie Banks and Billy Williams being two of the most famous.
Look at the Last 20 Games Between Cubs and Cardinals
Taking a look at the last 20 games between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, it comes as no surprise that the two teams split the 20 games right down the middle. The Cubs went 6 and 4 at home at Wrigley Field, and the Cardinals returned the favor at Busch Stadium by winning 6 of the 10 games played there.
Chicago held a slim advantage in the amount of total runs scored, outscoring the Cardinals by a combined total of 102-97. One of the highlights of the 2018 regular season for the St. Louis Cardinals was a three-game series sweep of the Cubs in early May. The Cubs closed out the season series against their rivals by winning three of the last four games to help them reach the 2018 playoffs. Odds are that these two teams will have similar results in their next 20 games against each other.
Detailed Series Split for Cubs-Cards Rivalry
If we take an even closer look at the 2018 season series between the Midwest rivals, it gives us a chance to make betting predictions for the upcoming 2019 regular season. The Cubs and Cardinals went over the run total 11 times during the 2018 season, while going under just 7 times. St. Louis and Chicago pushed one time when the over/under total was set at 8.0 total runs.
All of the games between the Cubs and Cardinals in 2018 had a run spread of 1.5, and the Cubs were much better when being the favorite. Chicago covered the 1.5 run spread nine times, while the Cardinals managed to cover just three times. St. Louis was the winner of +1.5 five different times in 2018, while the Cubs won just two games when given +1.5. Rivalry games are usually extremely close battles, so it’s easy to make a prediction that next season will look just the same.