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cardinals logoThe Cubs close out what was a fairly successful month, and they do it in a place where folks could feel even better about August if it comes with some wins.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs had a nice little win streak going before dropping the final two games in Cincinnati this week. C’est la vie.

The Cardinals have lingered in second place in the Central for a while now, just 1.5 games back of the Brewers. They’ve dropped four of six.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 29 at 7:15 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, August 30 at 1:15 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, August 30 at 7:15 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, August 31 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: Kyle Hendricks (1.78 ERA, 3.45 FIP; 2.82 K/BB), Felix Doubront (Cubs Debut), Tsuyoshi Wada (2.56 ERA, 3.55 FIP; 3.73 K/BB), Travis Wood (4.72 ERA, 4.12 FIP; 1.96 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Javier Baez, SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Jorge Soler, RF
  6. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  7. Arismendy Alcantara, CF
  8. Welington Castillo, C
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Shelby Miller (4.26 ERA, 4.79 FIP; 1.48 K/BB), TBA, TBA, John Lester (4.50 ERA, 4.85 FIP; 3.14 K/BB)

Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
  2. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Matt Adams, 1B
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Oscar Taveras, RF
  7. Jon Jay, CF
  8. Kolten Wong, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Felix Doubront will finally make his Cubs debut after getting over a calf injury that allowed the Cubs to rehab him in the minors while they sorted out the rotation. It’s still not quite yet sorted out, but, because of the doubleheader, the Cubs can bring up Doubront for a start without having to option anyone out. Then, the roster will expand to 40, and the Cubs will be good to go. They will probably go to a six-man rotation for September to accommodate all of the guys they want to get starts.

After a mixed start, Javier Baez’s last two weeks have been decidedly un-mixed: .130/.190/.315 with a 51.7% strikeout rate. Reminder: this is generally expected for him.

Jorge Soler has a career 1.500 OPS and .649 wOBA.

After a lengthy stay on the DL, Yadier Molina is expected to return to the Cardinals for this series. Because of course he is.

Jon Jay has a 123 wRC+ for the Cardinals this year, which, what?

It’s been a really rough start for uber-prospect Oscar Taveras, who is hitting just .233/.272/.306 on the year through 56 games. I reckon there’s some bad luck in there (.267 BABIP), but it’s a reminder that even the best prospects – and, make no mistake, Taveras was a clear top 3 guy – may struggle.

Speaking of top prospects struggling, it’s been a slog for Shelby Miller.

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