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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Thursday 8/11, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs go for their 10th consecutive win.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Last time the Cubs and Cardinals met, it did not go very well for our side, as the Cardinals swept a three-game series at Wrigley Field. As I noted in the recap to last night's game, the Cubs played those three games without Dexter Fowler, who went on the DL just before the series began. Two of the losses were tough, one-run affairs, and Joe Maddon was mixing and matching with lineups.

Things are different now, with the Cubs on a roll and the Cardinals having just lost five of nine games against the awful Braves and Reds.

I'm certainly not saying this will be easy. Never is, against the Cardinals. But the Cubs are in a much better place than they were back in June. How good? This good:

There's a slight chance of rain this evening, so you might need this for reference.

Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's daily fantasy partner FanDuel. If you want to play, click this link.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Coghlan LF, Ross C, Lester P

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 1B, Piscotty CF, Holliday LF, Moss RF, Molina C, Peralta SS, Gyorko 3B, Garcia 2B, Martinez P

Jon Lester

vs

Carlos Martinez

Jon Lester has not faced the Cardinals this year. Since the All-Star break, he's been quite good: 2.55 ERA, 1.135 WHIP in four starts covering 24.2 innings, with 25 strikeouts. Current Cardinals are hitting .257 (29-for-113) against Lester with five home runs, three of them by Jhonny Peralta.

Carlos Martinez is usually tough on the Cubs, although they did hit him hard May 25 in St. Louis. Current Cubs are hitting .274 (29-for-106) against him with two home runs, both by Anthony Rizzo.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It's also being carried by MLB Network (outside the Chicago and St. Louis markets).

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 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.

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.