The Cardinals will host the Chicago Cubs in an effort to maintain the first seed in the NL Central. St. Louis currently holds a record of 25-18, while the Cubs have a 22-21 record. Each team has been consistent all year, and this series will be crucial for both ball clubs. The Cardinals and Cubs battle it as long-standing rivalry continues in this weekend’s series.
Chicago is fresh off of a series with the Nationals, in which they won 3 of the 4 contests. They are winners in 5 of their last 7 games. The Cardinals are also coming in from a good series against the Pirates where they pulled off the sweep in 2 games.
The Cardinals have been led by Jack Flaherty and Nolan Arenado all year, and the Chicago Cubs have had Kris Bryant and Nico Hoerner be the focal points of their squad. In this three-game series, the Cardinals and Cubs will give all they got to get the win.
St. Louis Cardinals Back On Track with Two Wins Against the Pirates
The Cardinals won both games at home against the Pirates by three runs. In Thursday’s contest, Nolan Arenado stayed hot and started things off for the Cards with a 2-run blast in the first inning. Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa both had RBI’s to help the Cardinals John Gant with run support. John Gant was able to pitch a solid game, going 5.1 innings and allowing 2 runs.
Friday night was a little more high scoring with the Redbirds on top 8-5. Nolan Arenado wasn’t able to homer in his fifth consecutive game, but the Cardinals had fellow star Jack Flaherty on the mound. The Cardinals lineup poured in 6 of their 8 runs in the first two innings as Flaherty let up only 2.
These two wins from St. Louis were so helpful in keeping the morale of this team high. After being swept by the Padres, things were looking grim for this team. They will look to keep the momentum in one of the best rivalries in all of sports, The St. Cardinals versus the Chicago Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs Offense Will Have to Carry the Load Against Cardinals
The Chicago Cubs hitting this year has been a big step up from last year. They are ranked the top half of baseball in almost every major offensive statistical category. On the other hand, the pitching for the Cubs has been towards the bottom half of the entire MLB. They come into this series with a chip, as this is the first matchup of the year between the Cubs and Cards.
The Cubs rotation has Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta, who are big names in the MLB. They just have not produced the way Chicago would like them to. Hendricks maintains a 3-4 record with a 5.27 ERA in 8 games. Arrieta has posted similar numbers with a record of 4-4 and a 4.46 ERA. The Cubs offense has done most of the damage through the first quarter of the season.
Hitters such as Joc Pederson, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez are all in the middle of the lineup, batting around 2.50. No crazy numbers, but good enough for the Cubs to be in 2nd place in the tight NL Central. Kris Bryant and Nico Hoerner have been great this year, each batting above .300. Bryant has sent 10 home runs with 26 RBI’s so far.
Chicago’s most recent game comes against the Washington Nations, and they were victorious 5-2. Ian Happ was able to slap two baseballs over the fence to give the Cubs some life after being down 2-0 after the first. Trevor Williams only allowed the two runs, and the bullpen closed out the rest of the game.
Pitcher Probables and Prediction
Friday, May 21st: Carlos Martinez vs. Kyle Hendricks
Carlos Martinez will return for the first time since his right ankle sprain injury. He has a 3-4 record with a 4.35 ERA. Hendriks has the same record and a 5.27 ERA. This will be a great opening matchup, and I will go with the Cubs on this one, as Car Mar shakes off the rust.
Saturday, May 22nd: Miles Mikolas vs. Adbert Alzolay
Miles Mikolas is making his first appearance on the mound since the NLCS against the Cubs in 2019. He looked great in his last rehab start and will want to take down the rival Cubs. Alzolay has been an average hurler for the Cubs with a 2-3 record and a 4.62 ERA. I’m predicting this game as high scoring, and I think the Cardinals will win this one to even up the series.
Sunday, May 23rd: Zach Davies vs. Adam Wainwright
Sunday night’s game will be nationally televised and be a great battle with two brilliant pitchers. Wainwright comes into tonight with his second consecutive start on Sunday night baseball. He has a 2-4 record and a 4.63 ERA. Davies has been alright this year and has pitched better in the month of May. I’ll take the Cardinals in this game as well, winning the series 2-1.