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Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Friday 5/2, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs will be home for the next five days. First up: the division rival Cardinals!

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

I commend you again to Russ La Croix' excellent series preview for this divisional matchup, if you have not yet seen it.

Otherwise, the most significant thing about the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry in recent years is that it's not quite as one-sided as you might imagine, given how good St. Louis has been since 2012 and how bad the Cubs have been. The Cardinals are 24-15 against the Cubs since 2012, and that includes the series the Cubs essentially tanked against the Cardinals last September, the last three games of the 2013 season.

The Cardinals beat the Cubs twice in St. Louis in April, but the Cubs kept the Sunday game in that series close and scored a run off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal and had the tying run on base. (Moral victory!)

The Cardinals are off to a mediocre 15-14 start, and that has some of their fans nervous. They shouldn't be. This is a very good team and the Cubs will be lucky to win one game in this series.

Cubs lineup:

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

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 3B, Peralta SS, Holliday LF, Craig 1B, Molina C, Jay CF, Grichuk RF, Ellis 2B, Wainwright P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

Travis Wood, who had the "worst" start of his 2014 season (and it wasn't horrible) in his last outing, has not faced the Cardinals yet this year. Maybe that's just as well -- current Cardinals are hitting .349 (52-for-149) against him with eight home runs, three of them by Yadier Molina. Here's hoping for "wind blowing in" today.

Adam Wainwright didn't throw all that well in his only start vs. the Cubs this year, April 12 in St. Louis. He gave up four runs on seven hits, including a home run by Junior Lake. He didn't need to be that sharp that day, because Carlos Villanueva got pounded by Cardinals hitters. This game should be more competitive, although... Wainwright comes into this game having thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings.

Doomed, we probably are.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In some parts of the USA this game can be seen on MLB Network -- check your cable/satellite listings.

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.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

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.