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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Wednesday 7/8, 7:05 CT

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It has been a while since the Cubs won a four-game series against the Cardinals.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs won a series over the Cardinals as recently as last September at Wrigley, but that was a three-game set. The last time the Cubs won a four-game series against the Cardinals was September 14-16, 2007 in St. Louis (a doubleheader was in that set, just like this week's).

The last time the Cubs won a four-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field was July 27-30, 2006, a four-game sweep. Odd, in that the 2006 Cubs were awful, losing 96 games, and the Cardinals won the World Series that year. The Cubs were 11-8 against St. Louis that year.

So far this year the Cubs are 4-8 against the Cardinals, and winning this series would not only improve that record, but would move the Cubs to within 6½ games of first place -- they haven't been that close since June 14.

Make it so.

Oh, and guess what? It might rain. Again.

Here are today's particulars.

Joe Maddon was spotted arriving at Wrigley at 3:50, so no lineup was available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB twitter feed for the Cubs lineup.

Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Baxter RF, Arrieta P, Russell 2B

Cardinals lineup:

Pham CF, Carpenter 2B, Peralta SS, Heyward RF, Molina C, Reynolds 3B, Grichuk LF, Johnson 1B, Wacha P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel


Cubs

vs. Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

Jason Hammel's start against the Cardinals June 28 in St. Louis was cut to four innings by the storms that passed through the area, though he wasn't doing that well even before the delay. Apart from that, though, Hammel has been quite consistent all year and his last start, last Friday against the Marlins, was excellent despite the loss.

Michael Wacha dominated the Cubs June 27 in St. Louis. His ERA has not been above 2.85 after any start all year -- he's been under-the-radar excellent. This is his third year in the major leagues and with his postseason experience it's easy to forget that he just turned 24 a week ago.

This one won't be easy, but the Cubs should be confident now that they can beat the Cardinals after yesterday's sweep. The Cardinals aren't nearly as good on the road (23-19) as they are at home (31-11). I expect another low-scoring affair.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In most of the country this game will also be seen on ESPN. Check your cable/satellite listing.

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. If you do go there to interact with Cardinals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.