busch stadium

So the Cubs couldn’t quite figure out a way to clinch in front of the St. Louis faithful today, but they can still get their magic number down to one while hurting the Cardinals’ Wild Card chances with a win.

Jon Lester will lead the charge for the Cubs, pitching to David Ross as usual.

Lester was very good his last time out, allowing no earned runs on seven hits, no walks and seven strikeouts (in seven innings!) against the Houston Astros. The start before that, he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Giants, before completing the game himself and allowing just one earned run.

In fact, Lester has been on quite a tear for a while now – he has a 1.65 ERA in his ten starts since the All-Star Break (and that’s not too far behind Kyle Hendricks’ 1.33 ERA).

Opposing Lester and the Cubs is Cardinal righty Carlos Martinez. Although Martinez has been slightly less valuable (by WAR) than Adam Wainwright, he’s probably been the Cardinals’ best pitcher on the season. That said, he isn’t quite putting up the peripheral numbers were used to seeing from him (his strikeout rate is down four percentage points, for example). He has been very good in his past five starts however (1.85 ERA, 2.87 FIP), so don’t expect the bats to be flying today – at least not right away.

First pitch is at 12:45 CT – can the Cubs get the Magic Number down to 1?





Game Info

Chicago Cubs (92-52) at St. Louis Cardinals (76-68) – 12:45 CT on ABC-7, MLBN (out-of-network only), 670 The Score

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 2.51 ERA, 3.54 FIP; 3.52 xFIP; 3.64 K/BB

versus

Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (R): 3.05 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 3.95 xFIP; 2.06 K/BB



St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter, 1B
  2. Aledmys Diaz, SS
  3. Stephen Piscotty, RF
  4. Brandon Moss, LF
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Jedd Gyorko, 3B
  7. Randal Grichuk, CF
  8. Kolton Wong, 2B
  9. Carlos Martinez, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Jason Heyward, RF
  7. Javy Baez, 3B
  8. David Ross, C
  9. Jon Lester, P

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