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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Monday 7/19, 7:15 CT

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The Cubs open a four-game set at Busch Stadium.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s roster move: Here

Monday notes...

  • SCORE FOUR: The Cubs are 35-12 when scoring four or more runs in a game this season but are 11-35 when scoring three or fewer runs.
  • JAVY! JAVY!: Javier Báez enters tonight with an eight-game hitting streak since July 4 in which he’s batting .438 (14-for-32) with two doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and a 1.222 OPS. He has six multi-hit games during this streak, his second season-high eight-game hitting streak (also April 21-May 2). Báez last had a longer hitting streak during a nine-game run, July 1-14, 2019.
  • HOLDING THE CARDS DOWN: The Cubs are 6-2 against the Cardinals so far this season. In those eight games they have averaged 5.3 runs per game (despite being shut out once!), while the pitchers have posted a 2.63 ERA (21 earned runs in 72 innings).
  • THE BENCH MOB: Cubs pinch-hitters are second among NL clubs with a .252 average (38-for-151) and a .335 on-base percentage (Mets pinch-hitters have a .254 average and a .336 OBP). In the team’s last 24 plate appearances by pinch-hitters dating to July 4, they have gone 10-for-22 (.455) with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and two walks.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Alec Mills, RHP vs. Jake Woodford, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Did you know that in each of his last two starts, Alec Mills has been lifted one out short of a quality start?

Yes, I know, that’s a flawed stat. On the other hand, I think Mills is thisclose to becoming a quality MLB starting pitcher. Over his last four starts: 3.10 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, just four walks in 20 innings.

Mills last faced the Cardinals August 19, 2020 and trust me, you do not want to look at that boxscore. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hopefully tonight’s results will be better.

Statcast

Jake Woodford has made 29 MLB appearances since his debut last year. Just one of those was a start, and that was last year, so he’s making his first start of 2021.

He last pitched in the majors June 27. Since then he’s been at Triple-A Memphis being stretched out, but still has not thrown more than 57 pitches in a game this year, so I’d guess he’ll be on a short leash tonight.

He made two relief appearances against the Cubs in the series the Cubs swept at Wrigley last month, allowing two runs in 2 innings. Willson Contreras and Sergio Alcántara accounted for the runs with solo homers.

Fun fact: Woodford has appeared in 17 games for St. Louis this year. 16 of those were Cardinals losses.

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on ESPN (no blackouts). ESPN announcers: Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian.

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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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 post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, 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 the overflow thread 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 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.