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Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Saturday 7/26, 3:05 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row over their divisional rivals.

David Banks/Getty Images

The Cubs have a chance to win this series with a victory in the second game of the current set.

Of course, I could have written that about the last home series (Padres). And the one before that (Braves). Even the series before that -- against the Nationals -- the Cubs won the first two games against Washington before settling for a split.

Wrigley Field hasn't been the "Friendly Confines" since early June. Since the Cubs took the first two games of a three-game series against the Marlins June 6-7, the last two of a five-game winning streak, they are 7-11 at home.

It's about time to reverse that trend, wouldn't you say?

Oh, and it would be nice if the Cubs could do that in less than three and a half hours, please. Like maybe an hour shorter, thankyouverymuch.

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio 2B, Alcantara CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Coghlan LF, Castillo C, Sweeney RF, Arrieta P

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 3B, Wong 2B, Holliday LF, Adams 1B, Peralta SS, Pierzynski C, Taveras RF, Jay CF, Miller P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


Cubs

vs. Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

Two of Jake Arrieta's first three outings this year were against the Cardinals. Neither was great, but he has allowed them just one earned run in 9⅓ innings combined, despite issuing seven walks in the two starts (along with 12 strikeouts). Arrieta hasn't been quite as sharp in July as he was in June, but has still posted a decent 3.10 ERA this month.

Shelby Miller's only career start against the Cubs was June 17, 2013 at St. Louis, where he allowed no runs in five innings. Most of the Cubs who played in that game are even still on the team! Since June 19, Miller has posted a 7.01 ERA in six appearances (five starts), and has pitched only once (in relief) since July 11, possibly because of back issues. Perhaps the Cubs can take advantage of that.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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.