They can still win! And against the Cardinals, no less! If they do it again today they’ll call it “two in a row,” and if they win again tomorrow they call that “a winning streak.” It has happened before.
And on the same track, if the Cubs win today, they’ll not only win their first series in more than a week, they’ll also move ahead of the Cardinals in the standings! Think of how happy you’ll be then!
Starting on the mound for the Cubs this afternoon is southpaw and club ace Jon Lester. Lester’s been the Cubs best starter this season, though he did have a rough go of it his last time out against the Dodgers (3.1 IP, 7H, 6ER, 2BB, 3K). But with that said, he did go the distance and allowed just one earned run against the Giants the time before that, so maybe that LA start was just a hiccup.
Notably, those last two starts took place in different ballparks, and mirrored Lester’s stark home/away splits this year:
HOME: 1.80 ERA, .227 wOBA against
AWAY: 7.11 ERA, .429 wOBA against
Good thing the Cubs are at Wrigley today?
Mike Leake is starting for the Cardinals this afternoon and he’s on pace to have his best year on the mound. HOWEVA, I do spy plenty of reasons his 2.24 ERA is way above his true talent level:
2017 Stat (v. Career):
- HR/FB: 10.7% (13.5%)
- LOB%: 84.5% (73.7%)
- BABIP: .235 (.290)
Leake is walking fewer batters and striking slightly more out, but those peripherals are pretty eye-catching. At some point, more fly balls are going to leave the park, more balls will fall in for hits, and, ultimately, more of the existing base runners will score. Hopefully, all of that happens today.
Final note: The Cardinals are playing without Matt Carpenter (slashing .170/.226/.286 against Lester for his career) and Jedd Gyorko (paternity leave) today. Those are the Cardinals’ best two hitters by a long shot and they’re both out … against the Cubs’ best starter … at home. Win this game, Cubs. It’s right there for the taking.
Brett and Luis will be at the game (I’m sure my invitation got lost in the mail), so if you see them, say hi! Let’s go, Cubs! A win today would feel huge! Exclamation points!
St. Louis Cardinals (26-26) at Chicago Cubs (26-27) – 1:20 CT on WGN, 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 today.
Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 3.86 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 2.91 K/BB
Cardinals: Mike Leake (R): 2.24 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 3.52 xFIP; 4.36 K/BB
St. Louis Cardinals:
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Tommy Pham, LF
- Stephen Piscotty, RF
- Jose Martinez, 1B
- Yadier Molina, C
- Jhonny Peralta, 3B
- Paul DeJong, 2B
- Aledmys Diaz, SS
- Mike Leake, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jon Lester, P
- Kyle Schwarber, LF