Jeff Samardzija makes start number three, and it’ll be a stiff test against a stacked Cardinals lineup. On the flip-side, the Cubs get the good, but beatable, Joe Kelly. Not that you wouldn’t like to see the Cubs win every game, but, yeah, you’re really like to see them win this one.
The lineup is back to the more prototypical against-righty set, with one notable change: with Luis Valbuena back in the lineup, Ryan Kalish moves back down the order out of the two-hole, and Valbuena takes that spot. I think I probably prefer it that way; as much as I like the idea of Kalish’s speed at the top of the order, Valbuena is probably the better overall hitter/better on-base guy. Just don’t make him bunt.
As for guys like Mike Olt and Junior Lake sitting today, no, it’s not because they struggled (badly) yesterday. I really don’t think Ricky Renteria is quite that reactionary. Instead, it’s because of this:
- Joe Kelly career against righties: .252/.318/.333
- Joe Kelly career against lefties: .280/.349/.447
You want to stack the lineup with lefties against this guy. Hard.
And the Cubs have, so we’ll see what happens.
Chicago Cubs (3-6) at St. Louis Cardinals (5-4), 7:15 CT on CSN+.
Game Thread and Series Preview
The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.
Jeff Samardzija (1.29 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 3.97 xFIP; 2.20 K/BB)
Joe Kelly (1.69 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 4.80 x FIP; 1.00 K/BB)
St. Louis Cardinals Lineup
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Kolten Wong, 2B
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Matt Adams, 1B
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Allen Craig, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, CF
9. Joe Kelly, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B
2. Luis Valbuena, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Nate Schierholtz, RF
5. Ryan Sweeney, CF
6. Starlin Castro, SS
7. Ryan Kalish, LF
8. Welington Castillo, C
9. Jeff Samardzija, P