Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, May 4 - May 6, 2018

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Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, May 4 – May 6, 2018

Chicago Cubs

Anecdotally, it’s been very difficult to tell whether the Cardinals or Brewers pose a greater threat to the Cubs chances in the NL Central, but the odds are on St. Louis to spoil the fun (if anyone is going to):

NL Central Divisional Odds (FanGraphs):

Cubs: 67.8%
Cardinals: 26.1%
Brewers: 4.6%
Pirates: 1.5%
Reds: 0.0% (heh)

So then, even though it’s early in the year, this weekend series against the Cardinals feels pretty big. Given the way the Cubs have played lately (winning plenty, but by tiny margins, and without any semblance of offensive consistency) a solid, series-win would feel especially sweet.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (16-12) just lost a series to the Rockies, after kicking off their home stand with five straight wins. They were briefly in first place, but some hot days from the Brewers and Cardinals squashed that pretty quickly.

The St. Louis Cardinals (17-12) just swept the White Sox at home, after being swept, themselves, by the Pirates at PNC Park. Still, they stand a half-game ahead of the Cubs in second place of the NL Central as of today.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Friday, May 4 at 7:15 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, May 5 at 1:15 on ABC-7, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, May 6 at 7:05 on ESPN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jose Quintana (5.74 ERA, 4.24 FIP; 1.92 K/BB)
  • Tyler Chatwood (2.83 ERA, 4.03 FIP; 1.23 K/BB)
  • Jon Lester (2.73 ERA, 4.55 FIP; 2.08 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez
  • 3B – Kris Bryant
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Albert Almora/Ian Happ
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

St. Louis Cardinals

Probable Pitchers:

  • Miles Mikolas (3.27 ERA, 3.76 FIP; 13.50 K/BB)
  • Luke Weaver (5.17 ERA, 3.51 FIP; 2.14 K/BB)
  • TBD

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Yadier Molina
  • 1B – Jose Martinez
  • 2B – Kolton Wong
  • 3B – Matt Carpenter
  • SS – Paul DeJong
  • LF – Marcell Ozuna
  • CF – Tommy Pham
  • RF – Dexter Fowler

*Starter Adam Wainwright and reliever Brett Cecil are both on the 10-day DL.

Keep an Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Tyler Chatwood has been particularly enigmatic this year, showing the stuff and velocity of the elite, with the command and precision of a canoe in the ocean. His last start, however, was particularly good (featuring just 3 walks) and I’m excited to see if he is really becoming the pitcher the Cubs believed he could be when they signed him to a three-year deal this winter.

Cubs Player: Javy Baez has gotten a little cold, knocking just one hit in his last 12 plate appearances and just four in his past 23. He also hasn’t taken a walk since April 11, despite playing just about every day. Woof.

Cardinals PitcherMiles Mikolas has issues just *two* walks this season in five starts (33.0 IP). That’s extremely impressive. Insane, even. If the Cubs hope to do damage against him, they’ll have to put the ball in play.

Cardinals PlayerTommy Pham is doing his best to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke: .330/.447/.521; 17.5 BB%, 20.2K%. He’s hitting for more average, getting on base more often, hitting for more power, striking out less, and walking more. It’s early, yes, but it has been over 100 plate appearances for Pham and he’s been very good. He’s just 3 for his last 18, but those three were two doubles and a homer.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami