Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley outfieldI hate dwelling on the need for the Cubs to sweep the Cardinals this weekend if they want to have a chance in the NL Central. I hate it because (1) it’s hard to sweep a good team like the Cardinals; (2) winning the division isn’t the only positive outcome for the regular season; and (3) even if the Cubs sweep the Cardinals, the division is still a long-shot.

But, it is still accurate to say: if the Cubs don’t sweep the Cardinals, they can stop dreaming on the division.

As for today’s game, here’s hoping Dan Haren can once again harness whatever magic allowed him to baffle Cardinals hitters last week in St. Louis.

And, on the flip side, here’s hoping Lance Lynn also pitches exactly as he did last week in St. Louis against the Cubs.

Kris Bryant gets the day off in favor of Tommy La Stella, but you’ll note that La Stella slots into the lineup in Bryant’s usual 5-spot. It’s a nice touch by Joe Maddon, because it creates a very convenient spot to swap Bryant back into the lineup later in the game if the pitching match-up changes. Lynn has been rocked by lefties lately.

It’s been a rainy day and it could get rainier. There’s fresh sod in the outfield, so hopefully there will not be any issues.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (92-54) at Chicago Cubs (85-61), 1:20 CT on ABC-7 (or your local affiliate), MLBN, and on

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Lance Lynn (3.17 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 3.89 xFIP; 2.64 K/BB)


Dan Haren (3.87 ERA, 4.88 FIP, 4.73 xFIP; 3.27 K/BB)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Tommy Pham, CF

3. Jason Heyward, RF

4. Jhonny Peralta, SS

5. Stephen Piscotty, LF

6. Kolten Wong, 2B

7. Tony Cruz, C

8. Brandon Moss, 1B

9. Lance Lynn, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kyle Schwarber, LF

3. Chris Coghlan, RF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Tommy La Stella, 3B

6. Miguel Montero, C

7. Starlin Castro, 2B

8. Dan Haren, P

9. Addison Russell, SS

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