Although the season has been humming along and the Cubs have been doing well, things will really get going tonight against the Cardinals.
Indeed the Chicago Cubs are heading to Busch Stadium to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the first matchup since the 2015 NLDS.
Returning to St. Louis and taking the mound for the Cubs today is starting pitcher John Lackey. Last season Lackey was quite good at home (1.93 ERA) and he’ll look to build upon that success tonight.
Starting for the Cardinals is free agent acquisition Mike Leake. Leake has allowed 8 ERs in his first two outings of the year, most recently going six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. Leake is not much of a strikeout guy (16.1%), but he doesn’t walk many batters (6.1%) either, and is extremely proficient at inducing ground balls. The Cubs will have to beat him by putting the ball in play and doing damage tonight. So far, that hasn’t quite been their forte this young season. But it’s coming.
And the Cubs that are in there tonight are becoming the norm. With the exception of Javier Baez and David Ross working their way in, this lineup is mostly what we’ve come to expect since Kyle Schwarber was injured on a collision with Dexter Fowler on April 7 …
… and that’s perfectly okay, because since Schwarber came out, his full-time replacement, Jorge Soler, has slashed .280/.375/.520 with two home runs and identical 12.5% walk and strikeout rates. We always knew this is the guy Jorge Soler could be, and so far, he’s living up to it.
Chicago Cubs (9-3) at St. Louis Cardinals (7-5), 7:09 CT on WPWR, ESPN, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: John Lackey (R)
- 2016: 5.68 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 3.87 xFIP; 2.75 K/BB
- 2015: 2.77 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 3.77 xFIP; 3.30 K/BB
Cardinals: Mike Leake (R)
- 2016: 6.97 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 4.23 xFIP; 1.75 K/BB
- 2015: 3.70 ERA, 4.20 FIP, 3.93 xFIP; 2.43 K/BB
St. Louis Cardinals Lineup
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Jeremy Hazelbaker, CF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Brandon Moss, 1B
5. Stephen Piscotty, RF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Kolten Wong, 2B
8. Aledmys Diaz, SS
9. Mike Leake, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Kris Bryant, 3B
6. Miguel Montero, C
7. Jorge Soler, LF
8. Addison Russell, SS
9. John Lackey, P