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Cubs vs. Cardinals Game 1 Preview, Saturday 8/30, 1:15 CT

The Cubs look to take two straight from their arch-rivals. Or maybe three straight.

Dilip Vishwanat

The Cubs have played three split doubleheaders so far this year, two on the road, one at home (against the Yankees, Reds and Nationals, respectively). The home DH, you know was necessitated by a schedule change due to Chicago's Pride Parade; the two road twin bills were due to rainouts.

The Cubs lost all six of those games. It really is time to change all that; the Cubs also got swept in the only doubleheader they played last year (against the Brewers at Wrigley Field). They haven't won even one game of a doubleheader since they split a pair with the Reds at Cincinnati August 18, 2012 and haven't swept one since August 13, 2008, when they took two from the Braves in Atlanta.

If the Cubs can split this one, that'd be a step in the right direction. If they can sweep it, it would be a real boost for this young team looking toward the future -- and even better, a Cubs sweep would really hurt the Cardinals.

There's been one roster move for this game that you might have missed late last night:

This puts Felix Doubront in the mix for the possible six-man rotation that was mentioned the other day by Jed Hoyer, and most likely, Zac Rosscup sticks around and is "recalled" from his option. He probably won't even go to Des Moines, where the I-Cubs are finishing their season; he might just go to Chicago where he'll wait for the Cubs to return and the rosters expand Monday.

Oh, and guess what? There's a pretty good chance of thunderstorms in the St. Louis area all day and evening. What fun.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Alcantara CF, Watkins RF, Valaika 1B, Baker C, Doubront P

For some reason, here we are two hours to game time and there is no Cardinals lineup available. Maybe they're scared. Check the BCB Twitter feed later; I'll tweet it once it's out.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Felix Doubront

Felix Doubront


vs. Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson


vs. StL


vs. Cubs

Felix Doubront, who was once a pretty good Red Sox prospect, had an awful year for them, was sent to the minors, and is now Theo & Jed's newest reclamation project. He's just 26, has talent, though will have to do better than he did in three minor-league rehab starts for the Cubs (5.65 ERA, 1.604 WHIP in 14⅓ innings). He hasn't faced the Cardinals this year, but the last time he did, in the 2013 World Series, he had two decent relief outings totalling 4⅔ innings, allowing one run and striking out three.

Good luck, Felix. He'll be wearing uniform No. 22.

Justin Masterson, at one time considered a possible premier free agent this offseason, pitched poorly for the Indians, but the Cardinals considered his previous record and traded for him. He's been worse for St. Louis. Personally, I still think he has some value as a free agent after this year and I hope the Cubs at least kick the proverbial tires on him. For today, though, I hope the Cubs hit him hard. He has never faced the Cubs and the only Cub who has faced him is John Baker (0-for-1).

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.

SITE NOTE! For today's doubleheader, all the game threads for both games will reside in one StoryStream. They'll also show up in the "CHICAGO CUBS GAME THREADS" section on the front page. Here's the rest of the scoop for game threads.

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.