Image licensed from USA Today Sports
The Cardinals snapped their losing streak in their last game, and they now head to the Windy City for a three-game series with their old rival the Chicago Cubs.
(this is a preview for Game 1 of a series on Friday and while neither team plays Thursday the lines and trends are not out yet but check back soon, as they will be).
The Cardinals had lost six in a row before finally getting a W in their last game. The skid was not too bad for the birds, as they are still over .500 and are only three games out of first place in the NL Central. On the season St. Louis ranks near the middle of the pack in both team ERA and runs scored.
The Cubs enter this series after taking two of three games from the San Diego Padres where they won the last two games with great pitching. While in first place in the NL Central they are only a half-game up on the Milwaukee Brewers and three games up on the Cardinals. Chicago has had good balance on the season ranking 10th in team ERA and 12th in runs scored.
Turing the Tables on Cleveland
After losing the first two games of an interleague series to the Cleveland Indians giving up 18 runs the Cardinals turned the tables in the series finale winning 8-2. The Red Birds only allowed three hits in the game, Tyler O’Neil went deep and had three RBI, and Paul Goldschmidt also went yard. O’Neal leads the club with 15 HR and he has three HR and six RBI over his last seven games. Nolan Arenado (.282 11 HR 40 RBI) leads the team in batting average and RBI and he has eight hits and four RBI in his last four games. This season St. Louis is 16-15 on the road.
Johan Oviedo (0-2 5.25 ERA 1.54 WHIP) takes the mound for this series opener and in his last start gave up two runs on three hits in four innings in a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals have lost five of his six starts this season and while he has only given up two runs in each of his last two starts he only totalled 8 1/3 innings. This is Oviedo’s first start of the season against the Cubs.
One Does It, Again
In their last game, the Cubs were on the road and beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 while they won the previous game as well only giving up one run. In the 3-1 win in the series finale the team only had four hits and Joc Pederson and Sergio Alcantara each had a solo HR.
Kris Bryant (.307 13 HR 38 RBI) leads the club in batting average but is only batting .217 with two RBI over his last seven games. Javier Beaz (.240 14 HR 39 RBI) leads the team in HR and RBI but has missed the last three games with a thumb injury and is listed as questionable for the Cardinals game. On the season Chicago has the second-best home record (21-10) in baseball.
Kyle Hendricks (7-4 4.59 ERA 1.41 WHIP) gets the call in this Game 1 and in his last start gave up three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs have won his last five starts and he has given up three runs in each of his last four outings. In the first of those outings he faced the Cardinals giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 12-3 Chicago win.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning record
- 6-1 in their last 7 vs. National League Central
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- 17-5 in their last 22 home games
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 1-6 in their last 7 overall
- 2-7 in their last 9 road games vs. a team with a winning record
- 0-5 in their last 5 vs. National League Central
- 2-5 in their last 7 after allowing 2 runs or less in their previous game