Previewing the Cubs vs. Cardinals Series

This past Milwaukee Brewers series did not go as planned for the Chicago Cubs (13-6). They were hoping for much better performance but suffered three straight losses to close out the weekend. It will not get any easier as they now have to play five games in three days against the St. Louis Cardinals (4-4).

Cardinals returned to baseball on Saturday after not playing since July 29 because of COVID-19 concerns. Despite their lack of baseball playing, they took two of three from the Chicago White Sox. Rust did not seem to be an issue whatsoever for the pitching staff or the lineup. Whether it was a fluke or not, veteran Adam Wainwright looked sharp. He threw five innings while allowing just two hits and a run on Saturday. And All-Star Paul Goldschmidt showed why they paid him before last season.

Paul Goldschmidt

Paul Goldschmidt had a warm welcome to Chicago this weekend against the White Sox. He hit .364 with two runs, a home run, two runs batted in, a walk, and just 2 strikeouts in 12 plate appearances.

For the Cubs, hopefully, this is not a sign for what is to come over the next five games. If history has anything to say about this, it is that Goldschmidt is always locked in when facing the Cubs. Entering the series, his 1.050 is one of the best all-time against the Cubbies.

Over 62 games versus the Cubs, he’s hitting .328/.427/.624 with 46 runs, 33 extra-base hits, and 46 runs batted in.

Even in away games at Wrigley Field Goldschmidt puts up massive numbers. He has a .306 batting average, a near-.400 on-base percentage, five home runs, and 20 runs driven in at Wrigley Field in 32 games.

Tyson Miller Debut

Tyson Miller is set to make his MLB debut in game two today. It is unsure what his future is with this ballclub but has a golden opportunity to prove himself to the Chicago Cubs.

Miller was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. The 25-year-old climbed his way up the system over the last few seasons. In 2019, he split his time between Double-A and Triple-A. Over 26 starts, he was 7-8 with a 4.35 ERA and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

Miller’s two main pitches are the four-seam fastball and a slider. His four-seam averaged 90-93 miles per hour and tops out at 95. He did use a two-seam early in his career but has since left it in his past.

Tyson Miller was 24-25 in 85 games (74 starts) with a 4.05 earned run average, 2 complete-games, .245 opposing batters’ batting average, and 365 strikeouts.

Mound Matchups

Who’s Hot

  • Yu Darvish– 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R/1 ER, HR, HBP, 2 BB, 11 K in MIL series.
  • Ian Happ– 5/15,  3 2B, 4 RBI, R, BB in MIL series.
  • Jason Kipnis 3/9, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB in MIL series.

Who’s Not

  • Javier Báez- 0/11, 6 K in MIL series
  • Kris Bryant– 1/9, 3 K in MIL series.

Final Thought

The Cubs sit at 13-6 and hold the NL Central lead by 3.5 games heading into the series. While the postseason is very likely, Cubs need to make the most out of this series. The Cardinals are going to have to play 52 games before the end of September. Cardinals have a major challenge ahead of them and fatigue is likely. It is a series like this where the Cubs need to stretch their first-place lead in the division.

Featured Photo: Chicago Cubs via Twitter

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