Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Friday 8/19, 1:20 CT: A Baseball Weekend

Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs receives a high five from Marlon Byrd after hitting a home run in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

For the first time in a couple of years, the Cubs and White Sox are both scheduled to play at home this weekend. The Cubs, of course, are hosting the Cardinals; the White Sox will play the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

It will be interesting to see how the teams do attendance-wise. Cubs/Cardinals games always draw well and the Cardinals, though having a rough week, are still in contention for the NL Central lead (6.5 games behind). The Cubs aren't. The White Sox trail by only four games in the AL Central and the Rangers seem headed back to the playoffs.

A determined fan could see all six games, since none of them conflict with each other (though you'd miss part of one of the Saturday games; the Cubs start at 3:10, the White Sox at 6:10). Me, I'll just be at Wrigley. Attendance comparison will be fascinating.

And today, Wrigley Field will be buzzed by planes flying over from the Chicago Air and Water Show. The link says the show is Aug. 20 and 21, but they always have a "practice" day the Friday before. Some of the planes were even flying over the North Side on Thursday.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Johnson RF, Ramirez 3B, Baker 1B, Soto C, Byrd CF, Soriano LF, Barney 2B, Wells P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Jaime Garcia
Jaime Garcia
Cardinals
4-4 W-L 10-6
5.90 ERA 3.42
51 SO 128
31 BB 42
16 HR 11
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Randy Wells 4-4 15 15 0 0 0 0 82.1 100 55 54 16 31 51 5.90 1.59


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jaime Garcia 10-6 25 25 2 2 0 0 152.2 159 76 58 11 42 128 3.42 1.32

Randy Wells faced the Cardinals on June 4 in St. Louis. His performance that day was kind of "meh" as has been most of his season. Randy's ERA finally dropped under six after his last start over the weekend in Atlanta. Current Cardinals are hitting .274 (20-for-73) against him with two HR (one by Rafael Furcal, one by Albert Pujols).

Jaime Garcia threw eight innings of one-run ball against the Cubs on June 3 in St. Louis. Interesting note: three of the starting eight position players in that game aren't on the Cubs now. Since that June 3 game, Garcia has been just fair: a 4-5 record, 3.79 ERA and 1.5 WHIP in 13 starts. So maybe the Cubs can hit him today. However, current Cubs are hitting just .246 (17-for-69) against him with no home runs.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Midwest. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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