Series Preview: Cubs vs. Cardinals

Two arch-rivals in two very situations will collide this weekend as the Chicago Cubs travel to Busch Stadium to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs have gone 5-1 in their homestead since the All-Star break, which helped them climb out of last place in the NL Central. On the other hand, the Cardinals are 1-5 since the break and have fallen to three and a half games back on the division lead, which is now split between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates (who could’ve seen that coming?). Is this the last time the Cubs will see both Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza pitch before being traded? Can the Cubs capitalize on the Cardinals’ slump and win the series over their bitter rival?

Probable Starters

Game 1 (7:15 p.m. CT)

Ryan Dempster (5-3, 1.86 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80 ERA)

Game 2 (6:15 p.m. CT)

Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02 ERA) vs. Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82 ERA)

Game 3 (1:15 p.m. CT)

Travis Wood (4-4, 3.92 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.27 ERA)

Series Studs

CHC: Jeff Baker (5-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

  • Normally, Baker only appears in games against left-handed pitching. In this series, it didn’t matter if he was facing a lefty or righty or if he was a starter or coming in off the bench; Baker kept getting on base. When the Cubs can turn to a guy with this type of production from a guy not normally in the starting lineup, it can only lead to better baseball.

STL: David Freese (5-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

Series Duds

CHC: Bryan LaHair (1-8, 5 SO)

  • The other Cubs All-Star is showing critics why one good month shouldn’t make a player an All-Star. After having one of the hottest starts in baseball, LaHair has since seen his batting average drop to .276 and hasn’t had a home run or a multi-hit game since July 4. With Rizzo now in the majors and people like Baker having the hot bat, the All-Star LaHair might see some more bench time unless he can show glimpses of the Bryan LaHair in April.

STL: Carlos Beltran (1-5, 2 SO)

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