Rival Cubs and Cardinals open their final 2023 series: Best Bets for July 27

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St. Louis Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt (46) high fives Lars Nootbaar after hitting a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Thursday, July 27:

TOP PLAY

The play: MLB money line, Cardinals over Cubs

The odds: -118

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:45 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: The Cubs have a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since May 12. They’re in a spot where they are trying to decide whether to stay in the race or be sellers at next week’s trade deadline. They have now won five in a row and seven out of the past eight, including three of four against their arch-rival Cardinals.

All is not nearly as well as it seems. Last week, they lost the first of a four-game set against the Red Birds before sweeping the rest of the series. It would be no surprise if the same thing happened here.

Oddly, this series is the last time this season these two teams will play one another (I really dislike this new schedule format), and that’s a shame for Cubs fans for multiple reasons. Will the Cardinals be a much different team by the time this series ends, as there’s talk they could be shipping off several of their players?

But in the “one last stand” game before trades could be made, I expect the Cardinals under Miles Mikolas to have a good start after a rough one last week against the Cubs, in which he gave up five earned runs in five innings. Meanwhile, Justin Steele has been great this season, but he’s had some iffy moments the past couple of weeks.

MLB FAVORITE PARLAY

The play: MLB parlay, Mets over Nationals and under 9 runs

The odds: +151

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: Kodai Senga is on the mound for the Mets, who are desperate to get a run going and try their best to get back in the NL wild-card race. Is this where it starts?

The Mets haven’t scored a ton for Senga this season, and that could be the case again Thursday. However, they likely won’t need a ton of offensive help in this one that could end up something like 4-2.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Wednesday’s best bets

MLB money line: Braves over Red Sox (LOST)

PGA, 3M Open: Cameron Young to finish in top 20 (PENDING)

Wednesday’s record: 0-1, 1 pending

Total for the week: 1-4, 1 pending

Total for July: 19-26, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 169-189, 1 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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