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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Sunday 9/6, 6:05 CT

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The Cubs look to rebound from the doubleheader loss Saturday.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Sunday notes...

  • WE NEED YU: Cubs record in games started by Yu Darvish: 7-1. Cubs record in games started by all other pitchers: 16-16.
  • JON AND THE CARDS: This is Jon Lester’s 20th start against the Cardinals since joining the Cubs. Overall he’s 8-6 with a 3.32 ERA (42 earned runs in 114 innings) in his 19 outings against St. Louis with the Cubs, walking 37, striking out 116 and holding the Cardinals to a .233 average (97-for-417). More on Lester below.
  • HAPP-ENINGS: Entering Sunday’s action,Ian Happ leads the majors with a 1.093 OPS, ahead of Mike Trout (1.071) and Nelson Cruz (1.059). Saturday, Happ recorded his seventh-career multi-homer game and second this season (also August 30 in Cincinnati) while adding his major-league leading fourth leadoff home run.
  • HOW ABOUT SOME OF THIS AT HOME: The Cubs are hitting 41 points higher on the road (.252) than at home (.211), the third-largest difference between any club with a higher road average than home average, topped only by the Nationals (.294 on the road, .237 at home) and the Rays (.261 on the road, .220 at home).
  • BASES-LOADED WOES: The Cubs rank tied for first in MLB (with the Mets) with 54 plate appearances with the bases loaded. They have hit just .191 (9-for-47) with 26 RBI and two walks in that situation, which is 59 points lower than the club’s overall .250 mark (139-for-555) with runners on base. That means the team is hitting .256 (130-for-508) with runners on base in non-bases-loaded situations.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Clearly, David Ross ignored my suggestion earlier today to move Kris Bryant and Javier Baez down in the lineup. Watch, they’ll both go 4-for-4 tonight.

Cardinals lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Dakota Hudson, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Much as he would probably hate to admit it, at this stage of his career Jon Lester is probably no more than a five-inning pitcher. He’s maxed out at 93 pitches this year and in his last start September 1 against the Pirates, he threw five pretty good innings and then blew up in the sixth.

So if the Cubs could actually plan for Jon to just go five innings and stay under 90 pitches, maybe this could be a successful outing. Of course, that would also mean having effective relievers.

Jon has not faced the Cardinals this year, and last year in two starts against them he posted a 7.36 ERA and 1.455 WHIP.

He’s going to have to be better tonight.

Dakota Hudson has made five starts this year, and like all the Cardinals pitchers he had to ramp up from a long layoff. He’s thrown more than five innings in only two of those starts, but he should be able to go more than that tonight.

He’s had a pretty good year with a 2.77 ERA and 0.923 WHIP. He hasn’t faced the Cubs this year. Last year, he made two starts against them which totalled eight innings. He allowed three runs, struck out 12, but walked nine. His walk rate has improved from 4.4 per nine innings in 2019 to 2.4 per nine innings this year.

This one won’t be easy, especially with the Cubs offense apparently in a state of torpor.

Today’s game is on ESPN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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 2020 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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week/Date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

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.