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Know your enemy: St. Louis Cardinals

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One move made by the Cardinals could really hurt the Cubs.

Roger Dean Stadium, spring home of the Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

This comment by Joe Maddon regarding the Cardinals’ acquisition of Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks sums it all up quite well:

In his eight years with Arizona, Goldschmidt has hit .353/.471/.699 (54-for-153) with 14 home runs against the Cubs. The 1.170 OPS is his highest against any team he’s played more than 11 games against, and the 14 homers are his most vs. any team outside the N.L. West, where he played the bulk of his games with the D-backs. The “good” news, if there is any from those numbers, is that his OPS against the Cubs at Wrigley Field is “only” 1.011 with five home runs in 83 at-bats, and his lifetime OPS in Busch Stadium is “only” .890 with four home runs in 86 at-bats.

So maybe he’ll only be “really, really, really good” against the Cubs instead of super-stupendous.

The Cardinals are a very good team again for 2019; Cub-killer Matt Carpenter, who hit .279/.380/.706 with eight home runs in 68 at-bats against the Cubs last year, returns to his original position at third base, and all the other St. Louis regulars who scored 759 runs (just two fewer than the Cubs) last year also return. So does the Cardinals’ rotation, now headed by Miles Mikolas, a great under-the-radar signing. Jordan Hicks, who threw more 100+ mile per hour pitches than anyone in 2018, takes over at closer. Hicks doesn’t always know where those pitches are going, though, and walked 5.2 per nine innings.

The Cards will hope for a rebound from our old buddy Dexter Fowler, who had a horrific 2018 before he missed the last two months with injuries, though he did manage to hit a 14th-inning walkoff homer [VIDEO] against his old teammates on May 6.

Don’t sweat that too much. It was off Luke Farrell, who’s long gone from the Cubs bullpen.

And then there’s Yadier Molina, who got all miffed when Kris Bryant made that silly joke about St. Louis at the Cubs Convention. Hey Yadi:

Now who says St. Louis can’t be fun?

The Cardinals won the season series from the Cubs 10-9 in 2018. These games are always fun and competitive no matter how good or bad the two teams are. They’ll both be very good in 2019, and both contenders.

These teams won’t meet until May 3-4-5 at Wrigley Field, and the first of those games is supposed to be Addison Russell’s first off suspension, so some extra attention will come May 3. The Cardinals are also at Wrigley June 7-8-9 and for the last four home games, September 19-20-21-22.

In St. Louis, the teams will play May 31-June 1-2, July 30-31-August 1, and the final three games of the 2019 regular season, September 27-28-29.