Quantcast

St_Louis_CardinalsThe Cubs have played three series this year, and have lost all three 2-1. What better place to win their first than in St. Louis, right? It’s conceivable, dudes.

The Series Preview gives you the rundown on what you need to know for the upcoming series. In that way, it’s kind of a preview. About a series. See how that works?

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs should have won their first series of the year against the Pirates with a win yesterday, but a bullpen implosion (and, let’s be honest, an inability to add runs after the third inning, including a frustrating teaser rally in the 9th) negated that possibility. So it’s 3-6 for the Cubs on the year.

The Cardinals have won two series against the Reds this year, with a series loss to the Pirates sandwiched in between. So … with a sweep, the Cubs could pass the Cardinals in the standings! Hooray, April!

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, April 11 at 7:15 CT on CSN+.
  • Saturday, April 12 at 1:15 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, April 13 at 1:15 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.

Cubs

Starters: Jeff Samardzija (1.29 ERA, 3.67 FIP; 2.20 K/BB), Carlos Villanueva (4.26 ERA, 4.51 FIP;4.00 K/BB), Edwin Jackson (6.30 ERA, 4.44 FIP;1.13 K/BB)

Lineup (just an early guess, and it’s obviously still a little nuts with the versatility):

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF/2B
  2. Junior Lake, LF (or Luis Valbuena or Ryan Kalish)
  3. Starlin Castro, SS
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B (or Justin Ruggiano, when he’s in there)
  5. Mike Olt, 3B
  6. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Joe Kelly (1.69 ERA, 4.56 FIP; 1.00 K/BB), Adam Wainwright (1.29 ERA, 2.24 FIP; 2.67 K/BB), Michael Wacha (0.71 ERA, 2.37 FIP; 5.00 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Kolton Wong, 2B
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Allen Craig, RF
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Matt Adams, 1B
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Peter Bourjos, CF
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

The two hottest Cubs of late are probably the two guys you’d want to see getting hot. Anthony Rizzo is hitting .611/.667/.722 over his last five games, with a hit in each game. Starlin Castro is hitting .448/.448/.690 over his own seven-game hitting streak.

Emilio Bonifacio did not – I repeat: did not – have a hit yesterday. This is unacceptable.

Edwin Jackson was flat bad his last time out, consistently missing his spots, and consistently up in the zone. Hopefully he’ll be able to rectify that this time around, or it’ll be another round of batting practice for the Cardinals.

In the last 30 innings pitched by Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon, they have allowed two earned runs. That’s it.

It hasn’t quite clicked yet for Welington Castillo (.248 wOBA), Ryan Sweeney (.184 wOBA), or Nate Schierholtz (.178 wOBA).

When he’s not shoving fans, Matt Adams is hitting the baseball for the Cardinals: .364/.400/.485 on the year. Yadier Molina already has three homers, and Matt Carpenter has a .425 OBP. They’re just doing what they do.

The pixie dust may be coming off of Allen Craig, though, who is hitting just .097/.121/.097 so far this year. Not that it’s much of a sample. New acquisitions Jhonny Peralta and Peter Bourjos aren’t doing anything yet, either.

As you can see from the lines above, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright have been incredibly good through two starts this year (what else is new?). That Saturday matchup looks particularly tough, with Carlos Villanueva going against Wainwright. Probably need to win tonight’s Samardzija/Kelly outing to have a good chance at picking up a series win.

Note: As you’re just now noticing, the Series She-View has been retired for the 2014 season. I know for some of you this will be a disheartening development (and I’d encourage you to take it to the Message Board if you’d like to continue the tradition). It was just time to move on.

  • waittilthisyear

    its tough being a cub and bear fan, having to watch the cardinals and packers continue to have elite players. that being said, i got the cubs winning this series, they are due

    • Funn Dave

      Oh no doubt. This year’s the year.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      In a soul crushing fashion. The Cardinals will go on a death spiral and lose 112 games this year.

      But with the #1 pick they will draft a 17-year old that comes up next year and posts a 15-WAR season and then promptly signs a 25-year $100M contract.

    • Jon

      I’m really bullish on the Bears this year. Emery turned around the offense in one season, and odds are the defense will be vastly improved this upcoming season.

      Maybe he can give Theo a few tips on rebuilding in less than 5-7 years.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Agreed, definitely think the Bears are a playoff team this year. The D-Line is much much better, plus you have Long and Mills with another year of experience. Even think they have a good chance to win the division

      • Funn Dave

        The Bears weren’t as bad when Trestman took over as the Cubbies were when Jedstein took over, though.

  • Spriggs

    That cards logo sickens me every time I see it.

    • terencemann

      It just makes me wonder why they got rid of the double bird logo. I liked that one a lot more.

  • Jon

    The Pixie dust hasn’t been flowing as nice this year. Bourjos looks like a disaster. Peralta needs his steroids.

    • D-Rock

      It’s just a matter of time before Taveras is crushing it in the middle of their lineup, moving Bourjos to the 4th OF role. He’s simply a place-holder till they deem Taveras is ready.

      • Jon

        Has little Oscar been playing well this spring? Last I checked he was pouting because the Cardinals were asking him to play baseball and not sit on the bench.

        • D-Rock

          Actually he has been raking at AAA after a slow start, he is currently batting .300 for the young season after collecting seven hits in his last 14 at-bats. He has three doubles and two homers in 40 at bats so far in 2014. Taveras is a MVP caliber talent. I hate the Cardinals, but this kid looks like the 2nd coming of Pujols in St. Louis.

  • CubFanBob

    welp we are at the same place we were last year after the first 9 games, 3-6….lets hope we go on a winning streak here.

  • dwest9cubs

    Can you show the handedness of the opposing pitchers since we platoon so much? Might give us a better feel for who’s going to play.

    • Edwin

      All three are RHP, if that helps.

    • Funn Dave

      Seconded! It would be very useful for those of us whose non-Cubbie baseball knowledge is lacking.

  • CubFanBob

    did they change the time Saturday ? I have 1:15pm listed on my mlb app.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No, it’s 1:15. Not sure where I saw 7:15 – probably just a typo by me.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Wellington Castillo take notes! We go from a very good catcher (Russel Martin) to the best in the business in Molina. I like our chances tonight with Shark, but he seems to be snake bit with bad luck along with Wood. With Sharks new philosophy of throwing more strikes and getting quick outs from weak contact we can only hope that he is so dominant tonight that he gets a complete game. Although the bullpen is improved I don’t like the LOOGY portion of it and I am beginning to have doubts about Schlitter. As far as Veres goes he has to command his breaking ball or else he is just pitching batting practice out there. Maybe it’s the cold weather affecting his grip, but he needs to find iit pronto.

    • Jon

      I always thought Rusell Martin would have been a great pickup for the Cubs. But it’s tough to complete with large market teams like Pirates that can simply just outbid you on players.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        This is kind of a mindless, meatball comment. You recognize that, right?

        • Jon

          Not really, if you factor in his age, and as we learn more about framing data and their impact, (he doesn’t give away 2-3 games away behind the plate), he really would have made sense for us. I understand the economics though..is what I’m saying.

          • Edwin

            I think it’s more the passive aggressive way you’re taking a shot at the front office.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Yes. That.

              • Edwin

                I owe all my reading comprehension skills to Storylords.

  • scorecardpaul

    I am so tired of hearing about the team from St Louis that I can’t even read your articles about them anymore. Yes, as decent humans we should acknowledge their greatness. They were great, are great, and will continue to be great. I just don’t like it rubbed in my face on a site about the Cubs. I guess I just live to close to the fanbase? I simply don’t see the humor in it

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah … but the Cubs are playing them today, so I kind of have to mention it.

    • Unlucky 13

      As a Miami Dolphins fan, I have to endure the Cards evil NFL twins the New England Patriots as well. The two franchises are such mirror images of one another it makes me sick. They just never go away, and the national media loves them.

      • Travis

        I know your pain, Unlucky. I myself am a Cubs and Dolphins fan. Just seems like whoever the Pats or Cards put into their system, they succeed.

      • Funn Dave

        Yes. Those are probably my two least favorite sports franchises.

  • ssckelley

    Can we get the pitcher w/l records back?

    • nate1m

      That has to be sarcasm. Right?

      • ssckelley

        Not at all, I know many do not look at those stats any more but to me they are “fun” stats.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I mean this is a sincerely non-dickish way: the good news is that everyone else still hangs on W/L like it’s everything, so you’ll know these guys’ records with ease, even if you don’t see them here.

          • ssckelley

            But can’t you provide this information without acting like “it’s everything”? I realize I can get this info just about anywhere but I honestly do not visit any other Cubs site but this one. Again even if they have very little to no meaning for me they are still fun numbers to look at.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I could provide it and caveat it every time that it’s misleading and stupid, but historical and fun. But – again, sincerely non-dickish here – I could do that with a lot of stuff. I have to choose what I have time for (and interest in), and what I don’t. For me, W/L is so, so bad that it isn’t worth the extra keystrokes.

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                I wonder if the number of keystrokes spent explaining and defending the decision have surpassed the number of keystrokes that would have been spent posting W/L.

              • ssckelley

                But don’t do it for you, do it for your readers which is how your site makes money. I cannot imagine a metrics stat guy getting fed up over it because you include it. Not saying I would ever leave over something small like this but it is a pain in the ass if I have to visit another site to see these numbers.

                I realize over time these numbers will probably go away but for right now pitchers are being judged over these misleading numbers. To me that a lone should be worth your keystrokes.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  “But don’t do it for you, do it for your readers which is how your site makes money.”

                  Road to ruin.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  “But don’t do it for you, do it for your readers which is how your site makes money.”

                  Long-term, that is the decision. The approach isn’t working for you – and about that, I’m bugged and sorry – but there are broader issues at play here. I’m not using W/L on the site anymore. It is both a personal and professional decision. Which is to say, I don’t do things here just to get a few extra views – and, in the long-run, I think that’s the best way to get views. If that makes sense.

                  And, frankly, I think you should just stop caring about W/L – the only reason you care is because people have told you for years that it matters (that’s how it became “fun” to you, a smart person who knows that it otherwise is meaningless). Just decide, today, that you don’t care about meaningless, misleading statistics anymore, and you’re golden.

                  • ssckelley

                    “I don’t do things here just to get a few extra views – and, in the long-run, I think that’s the best way to get views. If that makes sense.”

                    No, this does not make sense to me. Can you explain what one has to do with the other? I cannot imagine an advanced metrics stat guy NOT coming here because you post stats that many consider meaningless.

                    BTW, I also do not mean to come across as a “dick” and I apologize if I have.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I think what Brett is saying is that his site, this site, is better for having made the decision to eliminating a meaningless stat. In the long run, while it might temporarily lead to a person or two missing the meaningless stat, people will know that when they come to BleacherNation they are going to get meaningful information, and not meaningless information. From a broad, long term, perspective, it enhances his brand when people know what he stands for, and what he stands against.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      You’re thinking too narrowly about some reader who is so turned off by the presence of W/L that he leaves forever. Of course that person doesn’t exist.

                      The issue is presenting the right information (or whatever) in a way that actually serves the purposes of this site, and to which I’m willing to attach my name. A terrible stat that I’ve railed on for years is not one of those things – it would make me something of a hypocrite. Moreover, a new reader doesn’t decide who I am or whether to come back regularly in just one visit. It takes periodic exposures over a long period of time to get that person to read regularly. And, to that person, I want to be sure I’m demonstrating that I know what I’m talking about, and that I provide a service (in this particular instance, it’s providing meaning stats and evaluative tools).

                      The layers that go into the “business” decision on something like this are pretty involved, and I’m never going to share them all publicly. But the good thing is, the animating thing behind 99% of them is: be the site you’d want to read. It’s worked so far for me, and I think it’s the right way to be. When I see W/L discussed on a site, I’m embarrassed for that site. So, with my ethos in mind, this was a pretty easy decision.

                    • DarthHater

                      I think Diehard enhances the BN brand far more than any of this other stuff…

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Heh.

                      And I didn’t want to use the b word, but yeah, that’s pretty much it.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Someone has to balance out you.

                    • DarthHater

                      “Someone has to balance out you.”

                      That’s very hurtful, Patrick.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Where does it hurt?

                    • Funn Dave

                      Here’s another way of looking at it: Brett is doing the baseball community a favor by not including the W/L records. The only way for people to stop over-valuing the stat is for the media to stop reporting it.

                    • DarthHater

                      There is no point in my answering, because you would filter the response. :-P

                    • ssckelley

                      I appreciate you taking the time to explain your position to me and at the end of the day it is your site and your brand.

                      But the thing is it is not a meaningless stat as long as W/L are being recognized. Right or wrong reaching that magical career 300 wins gets a pitcher into the HOF and winning 20 games will still get them considered for the Cy Young award. You can protest and boycott all you want but some of these stats are too much a part of baseball history to suddenly be erased from the record books.

                  • nate1m

                    I have stopped caring about in-season wins and loses but I still look at careers. Anyone can have inflated wins due to being on a good team or loses because they got to little support but looking at guys who have 300 career wins or 18 straight years with 12 or more wins (Greg Maddux, just wow) has to mean something.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Here’s why I wouldn’t even recommend looking at career figures:

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hernafe02.shtml

                    • DarthHater

                      I dunno. Felix’s career W-L percentage is almost 220 points higher than his team’s W-L percentage over the same years. In that respect, his W-L percentage seems to suggest that he is pretty damn good.

                    • ssckelley

                      I would argue there are players in the HOF that would not be there if wins were not recognized. In my lifetime Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, and Phil Niekro come to mind. When I was a kid I remember there were a bunch of pitchers that hit the 300 win plateau, IMO, some were not deserving to be among the greatest pitchers ever. When I think of the greatest pitchers of that era I think of guys like Fergie Jenkins, Tom Seaver, and Steve Carlton.

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      “Here’s why I wouldn’t even recommend looking at career figures:

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hernafe02.shtml

                      Here’s why I wouldn’t even recommend looking at career figures:

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/morrija02.shtml

                      FTFY. (That’s right, I went THERE)

                  • DarthHater

                    ” I don’t do things here just to get a few extra views”

                    No, Brett, you do things here to get a LOT of extra views. See sacrifice bunt post. ;-)

                • mjhurdle

                  i am not quite a ‘metrics guy’, but I am all for Brett not including the pitcher’s W/L.
                  Anything that anyone can do to eliminate that stat is good in my book.

                  • DarthHater

                    Bah. This “statistical correctness” movement is getting totally out of hand. :-P

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      It’ll be a problem when they do away with WAR.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  (And please note the implied contrast in this discussion: while I don’t think W/L is worth my time, having this thoughtful discussion with you very much IS worth my time.)

                • Funn Dave

                  “I realize over time these numbers will probably go away but for right now pitchers are being judged over these misleading numbers.”

                  But how will it go away if sites like these keep reporting it?

            • Jon

              All this being said, I still want Jeff Samardzija to get as many “Wins” as possible because I know there are still some really stupid GM’s that put some type of stock into that stat.

              • ssckelley

                Jeez, I hope not. Otherwise the Cubs will not get more than a bag of balls for him.

                But, can it be used in negotiations for a contract extension? :D

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            The one thing I do miss about W/L is how some folks used wins to describe a pitcher.

            Clayton Kershaw is a 20-game winner. Boom, you know he’s an ace of the league.
            18-win pitcher, he’s in the top-tier and probably the ace of a lot of staffs, but a notch below.
            16-win, above-average but not superb
            12-14 win, average
            etc…

            • Funn Dave

              But those criteria describe the team around the pitcher as much as they describe the pitcher….

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                I just liked it soooooo much better than “This guy is a #1 pitcher”

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  Ian Kennedy won 22 games a couple years ago

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I was going to make a joke about putting them up there right along with pants size, but I think I could actually divine more useful information from a pitcher’s pants size than his W/L record.

      They don’t exist anymore. W/L record for a pitcher? Never heard of it.

      • Funn Dave

        Hahaha.

      • DarthHater

        I think you should post pictures of the players’ wives/girlfriends, since their hotness is indicative of the quality of the players’ eyesight.

        • Jon

          I think you should post pictures of the players’ wives/girlfriend

          Is that an “either or scenario” or “both” ?

          • DarthHater

            Definitely both, but that could say something about the guy’s “makeup,” I suppose… :-P

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    “Anthony Rizzo is hitting .611/.667/.722 over his last five games, with a hit in each game. ”

    With a .786 BABIP. But when you put up an obscene BABIP, you better be putting up an obscene OPS.

    • nate1m

      I have been ‘watching’ most of the games as gamecast (a poor substitute but work and what not). Is the big sift being used on him as much this year?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yes. The Pirates are extreme shifters, in particular (using one on Castro, too, which I don’t quite understand). Rizzo has gone the other way with regularity.

        • nate1m

          Thanks. I was hoping that was the case. You talked about his spread (yesterday?). So, his BABIP is up artificially due to the sift but his ability to go the other way should increase BABIP relative to last since the sift will no longer be as useful?

  • Blackhawks1963

    The NL pennant probably comes down to St Louis v Washington. Cardinals are absolutely loaded, and Tavarez is knocking on the door. The Cubs are working to get like that franchise and I am excited that we are positively scaling this mountain. But in the interim it’s painful to go up against St Louis.

  • candyland07

    Win and losses it is information. I can understand the embarrassment not to publish these type of statistics as the season progresses. W/L may not matter but it is an indication of how the team performs when a certain pitcher plays. Its funny the people on this site tend to talk about a players metrics across the board yet to disregard a simple team and individual accomplishment in W/L . Soon ERA and Whip wont matter either dissect enough and number crunch every bad team can have good platoon type numbers.

    I bet when the Cubs have 3 20 game winners (and they will one day) the W/L will back for the Cubs until than it hard to see 8 Wins And a bunch of 15L across the Board.

    • mjhurdle

      “W/L may not matter but it is an indication of how the team performs when a certain pitcher plays”

      Actually, it isn’t.

      And this is exactly why I support Brett not displaying W/Ls for pitchers, so that someday we can eliminate this confusion completely.

      • candyland07

        The key word was indication, but go ahead be exactly in everything.

        • TWC

          Words have meaning for a reason.

          • Funn Dave

            Bullshit. Words mean what I say they mean.

    • Patrick W.

      “W/L may not matter but it is an indication of how the team performs when a certain pitcher plays”

      No, the team W/L record is an indication of how the team performs, regardless of who is pitching.

      “Soon ERA and Whip wont matter either”

      ERA probable doesn’t really matter when there are better statistics (like xFIP) which tell you how well a pitcher performs on the things he controls, but it’s a better corollary to who’s going to win today’s game than the pitcher win.

      “I bet when the Cubs have 3 20 game winners (and they will one day) the W/L will back for the Cubs”

      For how much?

      • candyland07

        What harm does it do to show a pitcher W/L record. Some pitchers dont deserve certain wins and some do but to ignore a stat is pointless and useless. I personally do give a rats hooties about W/L unless it in the standings . And Team Epstein has over how many losses – I see you embarrassment

        • Jon

          As I understand it, it’s like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters.

        • mjhurdle

          the harm is that, the more that stat is displayed and referenced, the more likely people get confused and say things like:
          “W/L may not matter but it is an indication of how the team performs when a certain pitcher plays.”

          We all need to do our part to prevent forest fires….and confusion.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A team’s record matters more than any other stat. And, what do you know, I mention the Cubs’ W/L record every day.

      The pitching *stat* win-loss record is misleading and useless for evaluating pitcher performance.

      Unless you think Travis Wood was great yesterday … and then was suddenly not great when the bullpen allowed 5 runs. Way to screw it up Travis! No super-important “W” for you!

    • TWC

      “I bet when the Cubs have 3 20 game winners (and they will one day) the W/L will back for the Cubs…”

      We can only hope you stick around long enough to tell us all that you told us so.

  • Karl Groucho

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/shelby-miller-looks-broken/

    Confused emotions: should I feel some amount of sCardenfreude, or frustration that this can happen to them and it still only has a marginal impact?

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Cardinals (1:15 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+