The Cubs had a bit of a rough ending to their otherwise successful 5-2 home stand, getting dominated by the Rockies. Nevertheless, the Cubs have been able to win close, low-scoring games recently after they had only been able to blow opponents out in wins.
This weekend, they head into St. Louis for the first time this year to face the second-place Cardinals in a three-game set. The last time these two teams squared off against each other in St. Louis, the Cubs popped some champagne in the visiting locker room after they clinched the NL Central.
We know two of the three Cardinal scheduled starters, with Luke Weaver and Miles Mikolas taking the bump for the Redbirds. The Cubs knocked Weaver around in their previous meeting and he has come down to earth after starting the season well. Mikolas, on the other hand, has been consistently good so far this year. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is an insanely high 13.50 because he’s walked only two batters in 33 innings of work this year. It will be interesting to see if the Cubs change their approach at all when they face him on Friday night.
On the hitting side of things, the Cardinals are led by Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong. Pham has posted a .447 on-base percentage and .521 slugging percentage with a near even strikeout-to-walk ratio. DeJong, on the other hand, has been able to produce on offense despite striking out in 32.8 percent of his plate appearances and walking a mere 6 percent.
Another hitter to keep an eye out for is Jose Martinez, who leads the team in RBI. He has been getting plate appearances with men on base and has been able to take advantage of those opportunities.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, May 4th at 7:15 CT on NBC Sports Chicago
- Saturday, May 5th at 1:15 CT on ABC-7
- Sunday, May 6th at 7:05 CT on ESPN
What to Watch For
- Anthony Rizzo has shown signs of life on offense! One thing he has yet to do on a consistent basis is draw walks. He has only walked four times all year, which is less than the number of times he’s been hit by pitches (7). In order for him to get on track, he needs to start working deep counts and drawing free passes.
- Quintana, Chatwood, and Lester have all pitched well recently. Look for them to continue their success against the opposition.
- The Cubs offense has performed rather poorly over the previous week of action, posting a .533 OPS and a pathetic -0.4 fWAR. Hopefully a change of scenery will provide the catalyst to spark the flame that has engulfed the Cubs offense at times this year. If not, we might be in for a repeat of the Rockies series.