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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Cardinals series preview

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Here we go to the 2018 season’s second half!

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cardinals made news just before the All-Star break with the firing of manager Mike Matheny and replacing him with their bench coach, Mike Shildt. For how this is viewed by Cardinals fans, here’s Josey Curtis, manager of our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.

The Cardinals will open up the second half in a scenario they have grown familiar with: a chance to make a postseason berth. That chance isn’t glimmering, yet remains very much alive — four games out of a Wild Card spot. A near-seven-season familiarity at the helm is no more, however, as the team dismissed Mike Matheny as manager prior to Sunday’s game.

Matheny had been in St. Louis since 2012 and last made the postseason in 2015. The team needed a shakeup, hovering around .500 for the season. The offense hasn’t clicked, and the bullpen has been a place of great inconsistency. Not sensibly able to drastically change the roster, the Cardinals are hopeful that a switch in leadership will be the necessary ‘piece’ needed to contend down the stretch.

Fun fact

The Cubs are just 3-5 vs. the Cardinals so far this year, but since September 23, 2016, the Cubs are 14-4 against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

Pitching matchups

Thursday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (6-8, 3.92 ERA, 1.196 WHIP, 4.57 FIP) vs. Carlos Martinez, RHP (6-5, 3.08 ERA, 1.379 WHIP, 3.72 FIP)

Friday: Jon Lester, LHP (12-2, 2.58 ERA, 1.191 WHIP, 4.34 FIP) vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP (3-4, 3.24 ERA, 1.107 WHIP, 3.76 FIP)

Saturday (Game 1): Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3-5, 5.04 ERA, 1.774 WHIP, 5.20 FIP) vs. John Gant, RHP (3-3, 3.49 ERA, 1.122 WHIP, 3.59 FIP)

Saturday (Game 2): Mike Montgomery, LHP (3-3, 3.91 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, 4.22 FIP) vs. Luke Weaver, RHP (5-8, 4.72 ERA, 1.320 WHIP, 4.03 FIP)

Sunday: Jose Quintana, LHP (8-6, 3.96 ERA, 1.372 WHIP, 4.64 FIP) vs. Miles Mikolas, RHP (10-3, 2.79 ERA, 1.047 WHIP, 3.25 FIP)

NOTE: The Saturday starters are as listed, but it’s still undetermined as to who will start the day game and the night game. Also, the fact that the Cubs’ first five starters are all going in this series means someone will have to be added to the roster to start Monday’s game against the Diamondbacks, perhaps Luke Farrell or Duane Underwood Jr.

Times & TV channels

Thursday: 6:05 p.m. CT, ESPN

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago, MLB Network (outside Chicago and St. Louis markets)

Saturday (Game 1): 12:05 p.m. CT, WGN, MLB Network (outside Chicago and St. Louis markets)

Saturday (Game 2): 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional)

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, ABC7 Chicago, TBS (no blackouts)

Prediction

The Cubs are on a roll, and though the Cardinals do have new manager Mike Shildt as a supposed breath of fresh air in their clubhouse, I think the Cubs will take four of five.

Up next

The Cubs host the Arizona Diamondbacks in a four-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Monday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    5
    (69 votes)
  • 27%
    4
    (124 votes)
  • 47%
    3
    (214 votes)
  • 5%
    2
    (23 votes)
  • 2%
    1
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    0
    (10 votes)
450 votes total Vote Now