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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Saturday 6/1, 6:15 CT

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The Cubs look to even up their series with the Cardinals.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday notes:

  • The Cubs are 4-7 in their last 11 games. In posting that record, they have lost the first game of each of their last four series. So far, they are thus 4-3 in the other games of those series. And even with that poor mark over the last 11, they are 28-16 (.636) in their last 44 games starting April 11, the second-best record in the N.L. behind the Dodgers (31-14/.689).
  • One possible reason for that bad recent record: The Cubs are hitless in their last 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position dating to the eighth inning Monday in Houston.
  • Cubs catchers have combined to bat .303 (61-for-201) with 12 doubles, 14 homers, a .408 OBP and a .572 SLG. The OBP ranks tops in the majors among all catching corps while their average and slugging percentage are second-best in the majors behind the Twins (.305 AVG, .640 SLG).
  • Albert Almora Jr. has homered three times in his last nine games, and is now hitting .297 (33-for-111) with 16 extra-base hits (8 doubles, a triple, seven home runs) and a .904 OPS in his last 32 games since April 25.
  • Kris Bryant has reached base safely in 34 of his last 37 games starting April 17, including his career-best stretch of 26 straight games reaching safely from April 17-May 17. KB is 11-for-29 (.379) with three doubles, two homers, seven runs scored, three RBI and three walks in his last eight games.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP

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

Jose Quintana was having a really good May until he turned in a clunker last Sunday against the Reds.

One of those good May starts was May 5 against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Q threw six innings, allowing eight hits and two runs. Of his 11 appearances this year (10 starts), only two of them can be characterized as “bad,” with most of the other nine in the “good” category.

Cardinals hitters have hit Q well historically: .338 (45-for-149) with five home runs. Hopefully the May 5 start will be a better indication of how he’ll do against them going forward.

The Cubs hit Jack Flaherty pretty well May 3 at Wrigley Field, including a three-run homer by Anthony Rizzo.

Since then Flaherty has posted a 3.13 ERA and 1.043 WHIP in four starts. He has a career 3.72 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in five appearances (four starts) against the Cubs. Rizzo is 5-for-9 lifetime against him, small sample size, to be sure, but still something to watch.

Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Fox announcers: Len Kasper and A.J. Pierzynski.

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 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.