Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, October 1 - October 3rd, 2021

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Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, October 1 – October 3rd, 2021

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs began this season against the Pirates back on April 1st, and although it didn’t go quite as well as we hoped, I do want to take you back to the intro of our first series preview of the year:

Although I won’t be at Wrigley Field when the Cubs kick off the 2021 regular season against the Pirates today, the fact that some fans will be there drinking beers, eating peanuts, and yelling at the umpires just makes me all warm inside. Baseball is back after a wonky 2020 season (a season in which the Cubs won the NL Central again, I’ll remind you), and fans are reclaiming their rightful place in the stands. No more fake audio, no more animated fans, no more universal DH (if that’s something you care about). It just feels right.

….

2021 was a season to forget, but I will try to be thankful that we got to enjoy it together, and sometimes, in person.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (69-90) are just waiting to see if they can clinch the 7th overall pick in the draft. They can do so if they lose one of these final three games (or if the Twins win one more). The St. Louis Cardinals (89-70) have already clinched the final post season slot. Whoopiedoo.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, October 1st at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Saturday, October 2nd at 6:15 CT on MARQ, FOX, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, October 3rd at 2:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Dakota Hudson (R) vs. TBD
Game 2: Jon Lester (L) vs. Adrian Sampson (R)
Game 3: Jake Woodford (R) vs. Alec Mills (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Frank Schwindel
•   2B – David Bote
•   3B – Matt Duffy
•   SS – Sergio Alcántara
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Nick Martini

Unavailable: Jason Heyward, Manny Rodriguez, Alfonso Rivas, Robinson Chirinos, Keegan Thompson, Jonathan Holder, Nick Madrigal, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins, Kohl Stewart, Brad Wieck, Michael Hermosillo, Nico Hoerner, Patrick Wisdom

St. Louis Cardinals

•   C – Yadier Molina
•   1B – Paul Goldschmidt
•   2B – Tommy Edman
•   3B – Nolan Arenado
•   SS – Edmundo Sosa
•   LF – Tyler O’Neill
•   CF – Harrison Bader
•   RF – Dylan Carlson

Unavailable: Wade LeBlanc, Justin Miller, Jordan Hicks, Max Moroff, Carlos Martinez, Ryan Helsley, Junion Fernandez

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -135
Cardinals: +35

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.36
Cardinals: 4.37

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.21
Cardinals: 4.15

Keep An Eye Out For …

Rafael Ortega is riding a four-game hitting streak with seven hits including a homer and a double. And over his last 11 games, he’s slashing .368/.489/.500 (172 wRC+) with identical 17.0% walk and strikeout rates. With this burst of production at the end of the year, Ortega’s slash line is up to .289/.358/.467 (121 wRC+) for the year. Pretty impressive stuff.

Ian Happ Watch: Happ has five hits, including two doubles and a homer, and four walks over his last five games. Can he finish the season strong?

Harrison Bader has had a quiet last three games, but has generally really good since the start of September, at least: .340/.371/.620 (166 wRC+). He’s not walking at all, but he’s making plenty of contact and hitting for enough power.



Author: Michael Cerami

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