Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, June 24 - June 26, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, June 24 – June 26, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Three more games until the next break in the schedule, all against the Cardinals in St. Louis this weekend. In case you missed it, tonight’s series opener will be aired on AppleTV+ for free (though you need to sign up for an account to watch it). Kyle Hendricks is taking the ball in game one following yet another disaster outing against the Braves.

Saturday’s game is still TBD in terms of a starter, though it’ll likely come down to Alec Mills or Adrian Sampson. And then Matt Swarmer will close things out on Sunday.

The Cubs finally have another off-day on Monday, before another 13-game stretch against the Reds, Red Sox (at Wrigley!), Brewers, and Dodgers.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs have dropped 7 of their last 10 and 15 of 21 in June. They are among the worst teams in MLB.

The St. Louis Cardinals are just 5-5 in their last ten games, but they’re tied for first place atop the NL Central with the Brewers.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

In the 53 plate appearances since his on-base streak ended, Christopher Morel has shown some developmental holes offensively (.200/.212/.340 (47 wRC+), none more concerning than the 1.9% walk rate and 41.5% strikeout rate. Buuuuuuuut it’s maybe not as bad as it seems. He certainly had a really rough four games following the streak, but he does have nine hits (including 3 for x-bases) in his last eight games, with plenty of hard contact, a good launch angle, and a handful of barrels. The whiffs need to settle, but he’s still hitting the ball well. We knew this was coming. It’s time to figure out exactly who he is.

Ian Happ is an on-base machine, and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, with eight hits, three for extra bases.

From Opening Day until May 6, David Robertson had a 0.00 ERA over 11.0 IP, with an 85.6 MPH average exit velocity. From May 7 to today, he’s got a 3.45 ERA, with an 88.2 MPH average exit velocity. With his elevated walk rate (and with the lack of a truly elite strikeout rate for a closer (though it is still very strong)), you strongly hope he pulls in the hard contact, lest his run prevention be further hurt by the longball.

Jack Flaherty will be making his third start of the season against the Cubs this Sunday. His first two starts lasted just 3.0 IP agains the Pirates and Brewers, and featured plenty of wildness (7 walks to 4Ks combined). But he’s ramping up with each start, so don’t count those chickens.

Nolan Arenado has been on a tear these past two weeks, slashing .314/.364/.647 (181 wRC+) with a 10.9% strikeout rate. Ditto Paul Goldschmidt: .348/.434/.761 (228 wRC+).

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, June 24 at 7:15 CT on Apple TV+, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, June 25 at 1:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, June 26 at 1:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Kyle Hendricks (RHP) vs. Andre Pallante (RHP)
Game 2: TBD (Alec Mills?) vs. Miles Mikolas (RHP)
Game 3: Matt Swarmer (RHP) vs. Jack Flaherty (RHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Alfonso Rivas
  • 2B – Jonathan Villar
  • 3B – Patrick Wisdom
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Christopher Morel
  • RF – Jason Heyward
  • DH – Rafael Ortega

Injured/Unavailable: Michael Hermosillo, Seiya Suzuki, Nick Madrigal, Frank Schwindel, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Daniel Norris, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan Roberts

St. Louis Cardinals:

  • C – Andrew Knizer
  • 1B – Paul Goldschmidt
  • 2B – Nolan Gorman
  • 3B – Nolan Arenado
  • SS – Tommy Edman
  • LF – Juan Yepez
  • CF – Harrison Bader
  • RF – Dylan Carlson
  • DH – Albert Pujols

Injured/Unavailable: T.J. McFarland, Corey Dickerson, Yadier Molina, Tyler O’Neill, Steven Matz, Jordan Hicks, Alex Reyes

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -79
Cardinals: +62

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.26
Cardinals: 4.81

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 5.39
Cardinals: 3.94

Author: Michael Cerami

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