This series will likely go a long way toward deciding who the NL Central champion will be this year. If the Cubs can win three of the five games, they’ll be 4x games ahead with 18 remaining.
After a much-needed day off on Thursday, the Cardinals are embarking on a stretch of 30 games in 24 days — starting with five games against the Cubs over this Labor Day weekend.
The Cardinals enter this weekend with a record of 14-14. St. Louis has won three of their last four, but that was after a four-game skid that started with a doubleheader sweep by the Pirates. The offense has been very streaky, but the pitching staff has been very dependable.
Adam Wainwright will start one of the Saturday games, and he is pitching like he is 30 again. Paul Goldschmidt leads the Majors with a .478 OBP, and Yadier Molina is batting .308 over his last seven games. Former Cub Dexter Fowler was placed on the injured list this week with a stomach ailment, giving a chance for some of the team’s younger outfielders to make a splash.
This is the first five-game series between the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley since... two weeks ago, when the Cubs took three of five. Once again, the Cardinals will be the “home” team for Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader and bat last.
Friday: Yu Darvish, RHP (6-1, 1.47 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.02 FIP) vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP (2-0, 1.93 ERA, 0.804 WHIP, 3.67 FIP)
Saturday: Game 1: TBD vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP (3-0, 2.65 ERA, 0.882 WHIP, 3.60 FIP). Game 2: TBD vs. TBD
Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 5.11 ERA, 1.324 WHIP, 5.05 FIP) vs. Dakota Hudson, RHP (1-2, 2.77 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, 3.78 FIP)
Monday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (4-4, 3.78 ERA, 1.120 WHIP, 3.71 FIP) vs. Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP (2-0, 0.83 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, 3.55 FIP)
With the injuries to Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana, it’s still uncertain who will start either of the doubleheader games Saturday. It seems likely that Adbert Alzolay will be recalled to start one of the games and possible that Tyson Miller (who started a doubleheader game vs. St. Louis last month) will start the other.
Times & TV channels
Friday: 7:15 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Saturday: 4:15 p.m. CT, doubleheader, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside Cubs and Cardinals market territories)
Sunday: 6:05 p.m. CT, ESPN
Monday: 3:10 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, ESPN (outside Cubs and Cardinals market territories)
As noted above, the Cubs need to take three of five to increase their lead over the Cardinals. They did just that the last time these teams met and they will do it again.
The Cubs host the Reds at Wrigley Field for a three-game series beginning Tuesday evening.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Cardinals?
This poll is closed