The Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball right now. Can the Cubs slow them down?
For more on the Cardinals, here’s Josey Curtis, manager of our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.
With a seven-game winning streak and a 15-3 record in August, the Cardinals enter this five-game set at Wrigley Field with a 69-51 record and a five-game lead in the National League Central.
Paul Goldschmidt has solidified his case to win the NL MVP award, leading the league with a .340 average. Goldy’s 31 homers are second to Kyle Schwarber, yet he leads the league rather easily with a .422 OBP and a .636 slugging percentage. Albert Pujols is 18-for-40 (.450) over his last 15 games with seven long balls. Pujols sits at 692 home runs entering play Monday.
The offense has been a key part of the Cardinals’ winning ways lately, but the revamped starting pitching is shining as well. Trade deadline acquisitions Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana have settled in quite well with Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright.
Since July 16, the Cardinals are 19-7, which is second-best in the NL behind the Dodgers (24-6). The Cubs aren’t too far behind in that span, though, at 18-11.
Probable pitching matchups
Monday: Drew Smyly, LHP (5-6, 3.67 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 4.12 FIP) vs. Jordan Montgomery, LHP (6-3, 3.29 ERA, 1.074 WHIP, 3.64 FIP overall; 3-0, 0.54 ERA, 0.900 WHIP, 1.80 FIP in three starts with Cardinals)
Tuesday, doubleheader games: Adrian Sampson, RHP (1-3, 3.51 ERA, 1.254 WHIP, 3.46 FIP) vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP (9-8, 3.11 ERA, 1.157 WHIP, 3.59 FIP) and TBD vs. TBD — not sure of who’s going to start which game at this time
Wednesday: TBD vs. Miles Mikolas, RHP (10-9, 3.32 ERA, 1.023 WHIP, 3.67 FIP)
Thursday: Marcus Stroman, RHP (3-5, 3.83 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 3.83 FIP) vs. Dakota Hudson, RHP (6-6, 4.33 ERA, 1.417 WHIP, 4.50 FIP)
Times & TV channels
Monday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Tuesday, Game 1: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network (also on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Cardinals market territories)
Tuesday, Game 2: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Wednesday: 7:05 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network
Thursday: 1:20 p.m. CT, Marquee Sports Network (also on MLB Network outside the Cubs and Cardinals market territories)
Well, I have no idea. The Cubs played the Cardinals pretty well until the most recent series in St. Louis, which the Cardinals swept. The Cardinals are under .500 on the road, though, and the Cubs have been better at home recently.
So... I’m going out on a limb to say the Cubs will win three of five.
The Cubs take on the Brewers again, this time in a three-game series in Milwaukee beginning Friday evening.
How many games will the Cubs win against the Cardinals?
This poll is closed