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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Cardinals series preview

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Cubs/Cardinals series are always competitive and entertaining.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

When these teams last met just a bit less than four weeks ago, the Cubs ended a sweep of the Cardinals tied with the Brewers for first place, and the Cardinals six games behind.

Now, both teams seem far out of contention, but it’s always a good matchup when these longtime rivals face each other.

For more on the Cardinals, here’s Josey Curtis, manager of our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos:

It was not a good June for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals went 10-17 and drifted back to fourth place in the National League Central after leading the division for much of May.

This Cardinals team visits Wrigley Field this weekend coming off an improbable series win in San Francisco; it’s a Cardinals team that is hopeful to take advantage of a Cubs team that just lost 11 in a row.

Along with offensive inconsistencies (although, lately, I must give credit to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado), St. Louis has taken hit after hit to their starting rotation. Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Carlos Martinez are all shelved. Pair that with a bullpen that has historically bad walk rates, and it’s not a big surprise that the birds are below .500 entering the final series of the first half.

Fun fact

When Adam Wainwright starts Sunday’s game, it will be his 44th career start vs. the Cubs, tying Tom Seaver for fifth-most starts vs. the Cubs in the divisional play era (since 1969). The four who had more: Steve Rogers (45), Phil Niekro (46), Bob Forsch (49) and Steve Carlton (65).

Probable pitching matchups

Friday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (10-4, 3.83 ERA, 1.249 WHIP, 4.91 FIP) vs. Wade LeBlanc, LHP (0-1, 4.24 ERA, 1.371 WHIP, 5.27 FIP overall, 0-0, 2.16 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 5.69 FIP with Cardinals)

Saturday: Zach Davies, RHP (5-5, 4.28 ERA, 1.415 WHIP, 4.82 FIP) vs. Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP (3-5, 3.39 ERA, 1.281 WHIP, 4.00 FIP)

Sunday: Trevor Williams, RHP (3-2, 5.51 ERA, 1.627 WHIP, 4.91 FIP) vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP (7-5, 3.58 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, 3.98 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Friday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network, MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Cardinals market territories)

Saturday: 6:15 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map)

Sunday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network

Prediction

These aren’t going well for me this year, so I might as well predict a Cubs sweep.

Up next

The All-Star break! After the break, the Cubs will travel to Phoenix for a three-game series with the Diamondbacks beginning Friday evening, July 16.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    3
    (9 votes)
  • 27%
    2
    (29 votes)
  • 41%
    1
    (44 votes)
  • 21%
    0
    (23 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now