St_Louis_CardinalsThe Cubs are probably in the midst of their roughest patch of the year so far, and it’s not like the Cardinals – now playing a little better – are going to make St. Louis a soft place to fall.

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 have had a rough year, but, until that series in Atlanta, they hadn’t yet been swept in a three-game set. That’s what happened, though, and the Cubs have now lost seven of their last eight games.



Going the other way a bit, the Cardinals are winners of four of their last seven, though they did just lost two out of three to the Pirates. They’re just .500 on the year, though, five games back of the Brewers in the NL Central.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, May 12 at 7:10 CT on CSN, ESPN.
  • Tuesday, May 13 at 7:15 CT on WCIU.
  • Wednesday, May 14 at 7:15 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, May 15 at 12:45 CT on CSN.

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: Travis Wood (4.75 ERA, 3.42 FIP; 3.33 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.89 ERA, 2.34 FIP; 2.67 K/BB), Jason Hammel (2.45 ERA, 3.53 FIP; 3.70 K/BB), Jeff Samardzija (1.45 ERA, 2.91 FIP; 2.81 K/BB)



Lineup (with obvious rotations in place):

  1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF (he might be sitting more, in which case Kalish bumps up, and the bottom of the order is affected, too)
  2. Ryan Kalish, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Mike Olt, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Tyler Lyons (3.43 ERA, 3.33 FIP; 3.50 K/BB), Adam Wainwright (2.02 ERA, 2.52 FIP; 3.71 K/BB), Michael Wacha (2.85 ERA, 2.64 FIP; 4.07 K/BB), Lance Lynn (3.83 ERA, 3.34 FIP; 2.94 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Matt Adams, 1B
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Allen Craig, RF
  7. Jon Jay, CF
  8. Mark Ellis, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Travis Wood’s really bad outing against the White Sox last week really crushed his season numbers, taken them from “holy wow, total All-Star mode” to “eh, just pretty decent.” That whole “one game” thing can work in both directions. Hopefully he shakes it off tonight.

Also with a bad outing last week, Jake Arrieta. He dominated these Cardinals in his first start of the year, but struggled to stay in the zone against the White Sox. And then, when he came into the zone, the ball was hit just hard enough to get through holes in the infield. It wasn’t a terrible outing, even though he lasted just four innings and allowed three earned runs.



Junior Lake last played in a game without striking out back on May 3. Before that, you have to go all the way back to April 13.

Something you’re not going to want to hear: if you take out his first eight games this year (just eight games), Emilio Bonifacio is hitting .211/.265/.263. The lesson there? Get off to a hot start, kids. It takes only about a week, and it’ll buy you nearly a month of goodwill.

Ryan Kalish, who’s getting some leadoff starts, his hitting .327/.365/.388 in his last 19 games.

I’ve got to confess that I don’t know who Tyler Lyons is (beyond what I’m reading today). But, you know, he’ll probably be awesome.

Allen Craig’s rough 2014 continues. He’s still hitting just .221/.276/.357.

Jhonny Peralta is on fire – .356/.433/.644 over his last 15 games – which is really putting a crimp in my desire to be all CardinLOLs about signing him to that big deal.


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