Series Preview: Cardinals at Cubs, June 11-13, 2021

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Series Preview: Cardinals at Cubs, June 11-13, 2021

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are in first place, Wrigley Field is returning to 100% capacity, the Cardinals are in town, we’ve got a Friday 1:20 game on tap, and it’s 80 degrees outside. Let’s go, Cubs.

Both of these teams have a ton of players on the Injured List right now, but the Cubs have certainly been able to weather the storm better than the Cardinals, who’ve dropped 8 of their last 10 games and now sit just two games over .500. These teams are within 3.0 games of each other, though, so one extreme weekend in either direction can make a huge difference in the standings. Can’t wait to watch.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (35-27) began their difficult month of a June with a sweep over the San Diego Padres … but then immediately dropped three straight to the Giants in San Francisco. They bounced back with a series win in San Diego, however, and are back atop the NL Central, tied with the Brewers for first place.

The St. Louis Cardinals (32-30) have dropped 8 of their last 10 games as they continue dealing with a mounting pile of injuries. Working backwards from today, they split a series with the Indians, dropped four straight to the Reds and lost two of three against the Dodgers in L.A.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, June 13th at 1:20 CT on MARQ, MLBN, 670 The Score
•   Saturday, June 14th at 6:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, June 15th at 6:08 CT on ESPN, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: John Oviedo (R) v. Kohl Stewart (R)
Game 2: John Gant (R) v. Kyle Hendricks (R)
Game 3: Carlos Martinez (R) v. TBD

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Anthony Rizzo
•   2B – Sergio Alcantara
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Javy Báez
•   LF – Joc Pederson
•   CF – Ian Happ
•   RF – Kris Bryant

Unavailable:  Justin Steele, Matt Duffy, Nico Hoerner, David Bote, Trevor Williams, Adbert Alzolay, Rowan Wick, Jonathan Holder, Austin Romine

St. Louis Cardinals

•   C – Yadier Molina
•   1B – Paul Goldschmidt
•   2B – Matt Carpenter
•   3B – Nolan Arenado
•   SS – Paul DeJong
•   LF – Tyler O’Neil
•   CF – Dylan Carson
•   RF – Tommy Edman

Unavailable: Harrison Bader, Kodi Whitley, Jack Flaherty, Justin Williams, Kwang Hyun Kim, Max Moroff, Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks, Miles Mikolas

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: +33 (8th)
Cardinals: -21 (19th)

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.56 (12th)
Cardinals: 4.24 (17th)

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.03 (10th)
Cardinals: 4.58 (18th)

Keep An Eye Out For …

Can Patrick Wisdom really keep going? We’ve been asking this question for every homer after #5, but he just keeps on hitting them, and now he’s in pretty rare company:

Kris Bryant’s mini-slump. This hardly a concern of mine just yet, but Bryant has had a slow start to the month, with 5 hits and just 1 walk against 9 strikeouts in 28 June plate appearances: .185/.214/.333 (49 wRC+). He’s got plenty of time to turn it around, and, hey, he does have a hit in all but two games, but, yes, it’s been a quiet week and a half for a guy who hadn’t really had a stretch like this yet.

Anthony Rizzo’s power. Dating back to May 15th, Anthony Rizzo is hitting a healthy .319/.351/.449 (118 wRC+), but obviously the power has been lacking, overall. With that said, he had a double and a homer in the middle game against the Padres, and I think we’re about to see him go on a bit of a binge. Just a gut feeling.

Paul DeJong is returning from injury today. No special note. I’m just curious to see if he’ll look rusty without playing in about a month.

Tyler O’Neill is on a bit of a tear, with seven hits in his last four games, including 3 homers and 2 doubles (who does he think he is, Patrick Wisdom?). He’s up at .291/.325/.649 (163 wRC+) overall, so beware of him, Cubs pitchers.

Author: Michael Cerami

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