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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Sunday 9/17, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for their sixth straight win.

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers lost to the Marlins 7-3 Saturday evening, which put Milwaukee four games out of first place and reduced the Cubs’ magic number to 11.

A Cubs win today and a Brewers loss would make that number nine over the Brewers and eight over the Cardinals, who currently trail the Cubs by five games.

The Cubs are 39-21 (.650) since the All-Star break. 14 games remain; continuing to play at that percentage would mean a 9-5 mark and 91 wins for the season. If the Cubs do that, they would win the division as long as they defeat the Cardinals at least once and the Brewers at least twice in that 14-game span (because at that point, both those teams could win a maximum of 90 games).

Fun fact: 45 years ago yesterday, September 16, 1972, the Cubs drew a franchise-record 15 walks and hit five home runs on their way to an 18-5 dismantling of the Mets. Go look at the boxscore and check out who the Mets pitcher was that afternoon.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Zobrist 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Avila C, Schwarber LF, Almora CF, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Quintana P

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 3B, Pham LF, DeJong SS, Martinez 1B, Fowler CF, Molina C, Wong 2B, Grichuk RF, Lynn P

Jose Quintana vs. Lance Lynn

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana’s first start at Wrigley as a Cub was against the Cardinals in a Sunday night game, July 23. He allowed five hits and three runs in six innings, which was good enough for a Cubs win, backed up by homers by Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber.

Jose has struggled a bit since then, but he’s allowed just two runs in 13 innings in two September starts (1.38 ERA) with two walks and 13 strikeouts.

The Cubs need him to be that good the rest of this month. And next.

Lance Lynn has made two starts against the Cubs this year and did not complete six innings in either of them, though he allowed only two runs in each. The Cubs wound up winning both games after he departed. Both of those games were early in the season when the Cubs were struggling to stay over .500.

Since the All-Star break Lynn has been very good. In 12 starts he has posted a 2.18 ERA and 1.197 WHIP. Anthony Rizzo has particular success against him: 11-for-32 (.344) with four doubles and two home runs.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It’s also on TBS (outside the Chicago and St. Louis markets).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner StubHub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.