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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Friday 5/4, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs and their arch-rivals begin a weekend series.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Notes for a Friday afternoon:

  • The Cubs are 9-5 (.643) against its N.L. Central Division opponents thus far, having won their last five games within the division. The .643 winning percentage is tops among N.L. Central clubs within the division. St. Louis is second, having gone 11-7 (.611) in N.L. Central play. (Of course, seven of those wins are over the Reds, with no losses.)
  • The Cubs are one of five major league teams to not have a three-game losing streak this season. The others: Diamondbacks, Braves, Indians and Yankees.
  • The Cubs entered May in first place in the N.L. Central for the third straight year, though they are now one game behind. The Cubs finished the season’s frigid first month-plus with a 16-10 record, reaching 16 wins prior to May 1 for just the fourth time in franchise history. They went 17-5 in 2016, 17-10 in 2008 and 16-7 in 1969.
  • The Cubs are a perfect 14-0 when leading after six innings this season. Despite allowing three earned runs in 4⅔ innings Wednesday, Cubs relievers’ 2.67 ERA (30 earned runs in 101 innings) is third-best in the N.L. (Arizona, 2.16 and Milwaukee, 2.36).
  • Brandon Morrow (10 IP) and Brian Duensing (9 IP) are the only qualifying N.L. relievers yet to allow a run this season. Morrow has not allowed a run in his last 18⅓ innings dating to last season, the second-longest active streak in the majors, trailing only Cleveland’s Andrew Miller (18⅔ IP).
  • Kyle Schwarber hit his third career triple Tuesday night as the Cubs recorded a triple for the third straight game. The Cubs have 11 triples this season, tied for the most in the majors with Arizona, and the team’s 10 triples prior to May 1 were the Cubs’ most since 1926 (12 triples).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Miles Mikolas, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana’s last start, April 28 vs. the Brewers, was outstanding — seven innings, two hits, seven strikeouts.

We won’t talk about the rest of his outings this year. Hopefully the good stuff continues.

Q made two starts against the Cardinals after coming to the Cubs last year and allowed six earned runs in 11⅔ innings. That isn’t great, but he did strike out 15 in those two starts.

There isn’t much more to say about Q than this: Here’s hoping he’s the guy the Cubs thought they were getting in the trade last summer.

Miles Mikolas is a great story. After three years of mediocrity with the Padres and Rangers, he spent 2015-17 in Japan, where he posted a 2.18 ERA and 0.994 WHIP in 62 starts with the Yomiuri Giants, good enough to get him a two-year, $15.5 million deal with St. Louis. He’s made five starts for the Cardinals this year. The first two, vs. the Brewers, were rough, but the last three: 1.71 ERA, 0.810 WHIP. Two of those three starts were against the Reds, so take that for what it’s worth.

Mikolas has never faced the Cubs, and the only Cub who has more than one PA against him is Ben Zobrist (1-for-4).

Today’s game is on NBC Sports 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. 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 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.