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Cubs and Cardinals Tied Heading into Big Series

Cubs Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have won 15 of their last 22 games, bringing their record to 56-49. The Cubs also sit at 56-49 heading into their series against the Cardinals. This three-game set will be played in St. Louis, and one team will lead the other when the series is said and done. The Cubs and Cards have met nine times this season with the Cubs taking six of those games. All three series played ended in a sweep, two from Chicago and the other from St. Louis. Here is a preview of what’s to come this week between these well-known teams:

Probable Starters and Game Times

St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas throws a pitch to Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo (Image courtesy of NBC Sports)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 30 | 8:15 PM EST

Probables: Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.54 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (7-7, 4.63)

Game 2: Wednesday, July 31 | 8:15 PM EST

Probables: Kyle Hendricks (7-8, 3.26 ERA) vs. Miles Mikolas (7-10, 4.19 ERA)

Game 3: Thursday, August 1 | 7:15 PM EST

Jon Lester (9-6, 3.63 ERA) vs. Jack Flaherty (4-6, 4.17 ERA)

Players to Watch for

Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo is hitting as well as just about anyone in the month of July. Through 21 games, he’s slashing .338/.422/.545 along with a .968 OPS. This offensive spark has helped the Cubs stay in this tight National League Central race. The three starters he’ll likely face this series are Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty. He is 23-for-86 against them in his career, giving him a .313 average with six extra-base hits.

St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt

St. Louis Cardinals
Image courtesy of upi.com

Cardinals first basemen Paul Goldschmidt had a very rough time at the plate in the first half of the season. His slash line at the All-Star break was a measly .254/.343/.426. The line isn’t that bad in general, but the Cardinals expect a lot more out of the veteran slugger. Since the break, he’s batting .262/.313/.672 with a .986 OPS. Goldy’s average is still down a little, but the balls that do go for hits have often been for extra bases. He is tied for the most homers in the National League with eight post-All-Star Game. The 31-year-old is also 7-for-14 off Jon Lester in his career and will look to continue that trend on Thursday night.

Notable Injuries

Chicago Cubs
Image Courtesy of FlipBoard

Chicago Cubs:

    • Brandon Morrow will miss at least another week as his elbow heals.
    • Cole Hamels is out for the series with an oblique strain. He can return by the end of the week.
    • Daniel Descalso will likely miss the series with an ankle injury.

St. Louis Cardinals:

    • Brett Cecil will likely be out until September after injuring his wrist.
    • Dexter Fowler can play if his foot is ready.
    • Jordan Hicks is out for the season with Tommy John surgery.
    • Marcell Ozuna can return in a few days if his thumb recovers.
    • Matt Carpenter is in the same boat as Fowler, he can play if his foot is ready.

Feature Image Courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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