Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, September 2 - September 4, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at Cardinals, September 2 – September 4, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Well, here’s the good news: This is the last time the Cubs will play the Cardinals this season, which means it’s the last time the Cubs will face Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols EVER. The bad news is that the Cubs are way out of it, while the Cardinals are headed towards October baseball once again, only this time with Pujols barreling towards 700 HRs and two of the top NL MVP candidates, including the presumptive winner, on the infield corners.

Not exactly even Steven.

After this, the Cubs have an off-day on Monday, before a six-game homestand against the Reds and Giants. We’re in the home stretch, folks. Just hang on.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (56-75) just dropped two out of three in Toronto, despite being outscored by just one run over the course of three games. Combined with the series losses to Milwaukee and St. Louis before that, that makes three dropped series in a row after their nice run. Welcome back to Earth.

The St. Louis Cardinals (76-55) have taken a stranglehold on the NL Central, leading Milwaukee by 6.5 games with a month to go. They’ve won six series in a row and nine of their past ten.

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Albert Pujols is up to 694 home runs with about one month left in his MLB career. And while he did hit one a few games ago, he’s got just three hits and a walk in his last 20 plate appearances.

With that ^ said … don’t do it against the Cubs, grandpa.

Nolan Arenado has 10(!) hits in his last five games and has been borderline unstoppable since the start of JULY: .354/.414/.691 (205 wRC+) in 203 PAs. This season, Arenado has four 4-hit games, nine 3-hit games, and twenty-nine 2-hit games. Unreal.

Seiya Suzuki has kept up his nice stretch of baseball, extending his hitting streak to five games while slashing .296/.380/.444 (133 wRC+) since August 9. We talked about the changes he’s made at the plate right here:

In the second-half of the season, Ian Happ is still doing his All-Star thing, slashing .289/.321/.490 (125 wRC+) over 156 PAs. And it seems he may have traded off some patience (.321 OBP, 29.5 K%) for a little more power (.490 SLG, .201 ISO), which is just going to be an on-going battle for him, it seems. That’s fine though because the product is still good in the meantime.

Game Times and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, September 2 at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Saturday, September 3 at 6:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
  • Sunday, September 4 at 1:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Adrian Sampson (RHP) vs. Jordan Montgomery (LHP)
Game 2: Drew Smyly (LHP) vs. Adam Wainwright (RHP)
Game 3: Marcus Stroman (RHP) vs. Miles Mikolas (RHP)

Chicago Cubs:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – P.J. Higgins
  • 2B – Nick Madrigal
  • 3B – Chris Morel
  • SS – Nico Hoerner
  • LF – Ian Happ
  • CF – Nelson Velázquez/Rafael Ortega
  • RF – Seiya Suzuki
  • DH – Franmil Reyes

Injured/Unavailable: Patrick Wisdom, Keegan Thompson, Steven Brault, Adbert Alzolay, Codi Heuer, Michael Hermosillo, Ethan Roberts, Wade Miley, Jason Heyward, Alec Mills, Kyle Hendricks, Brad Wieck

St. Louis Cardinals:

  • C – Yadi Molina
  • 1B – Paul Goldschmidt
  • 2B – Nolan Gorman
  • 3B – Nolan Arenado
  • SS – Tommy Edman
  • LF – Tyler O’Neill
  • CF – Dylan Carlson
  • RF – Lars Nootbaar
  • DH – Albert Pujols

Injured/Unavailable: Steven Matz, Drew VerHagen, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty

By the Numbers

Run Differential:
Cubs: -87
Cardinals: +124

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.15
Cardinals: 4.92

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.81
Cardinals: 3.97

Author: Michael Cerami

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