Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Monday 6/17, 6:05 CT: Divisional Rivalry Week

USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs open a four-game set against their biggest division rival Monday night. After this series, we should have a much better idea regarding the Cubs' deadline deal plans.

Interestingly enough, the Cubs come into this series with the Cardinals reeling from losing a series to the Marlins. St. Louis is just 4-4 in its last eight games. The Cubs split a pair with them at Wrigley Field last month. I don't expect much here, but ...

Anyway, instead of the traditional game preview comments here, I thought I'd pass along "Integrating Baseball Knowledge", an excellent piece by John Sickels at Minor League Ball. In it, he compares and contrasts several different types of approaches toward looking at baseball players. I found it compelling and interesting, an excellent read.

Also, this game isn't likely to be watched by many of you because of the Blackhawks/Bruins Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. And, based on this forecast, it might not be played at all. There's a flash flood warning in effect for the entire St. Louis metro area until 9 p.m. CDT.

Cubs lineup:

Valbuena 3B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Soriano LF, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Wood P

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 2B, Beltran RF, Holliday LF, Craig 1B, Molina C, Freese 3B, Jay CF, Kozma SS, Miller P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Travis Wood 5-5 16 13 0 0 0 0 85.0 57 26 25 6 28 60 2.65 1.00


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Shelby Miller 7-4 13 13 1 1 0 0 81.1 62 22 20 6 17 91 2.21 .97

Travis Wood started against the Cardinals May 7 at Wrigley Field and allowed just one run in 6⅔ innings and the Cubs won the game. No, I am not making that up. Wood has been very, very good this year and actually gives the Cubs a great chance to win this game. The only run he allowed that day last month was a solo HR to Allen Craig.

Shelby Miller, who has been quite good this year in his first full year in a Cardinals uniform, has one career appearance against the Cubs, last year in relief September 21 at Wrigley Field. He gave up singles to Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo. That probably means nothing. Miller struck out 10 Mets in his last start. That probably means something.

Today's game is on WCIU. WCIU games can also be seen on the following channels: Springfield/Decatur/Champaign WCIX 49.2; Peoria WAOE 59.1; Des Moines WHO 13.2; Quad Cities (Davenport/Moline) WQAD 8.2 or 8.3; Ft. Wayne WANE 15.2 and South Bend, WMYS, 69. Outside of metropolitan Chicago, this game can be seen on ESPN, although I have also heard that people inside the blackout areas have been unable to see WCIU/ESPN games because they get blacked out of ESPN, and their cable/satellite system doesn't carry WCIU. If you are blacked out of this game for this reason, please email me; I would like to write about this if it happens.

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.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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