The Cubs (52-68) continue to play very good baseball in the second half of the season, taking two of three from Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. Much improved pitching continues to help make up for an inconsistent offensive unit and has helped the Cubs win several tight games. The difficulty level increases again this week as the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals come to town for a rare five-game series.
The Cardinals (69-51) are a whopping 19-6 since the All-Star break and have won seven in a row. They have surged past the Brewers and now have a five-gave lead for first place in the National League Central division.
The big story right now is 42-year-old Albert Pujols, who has absolutely exploded in the month of August. The future Hall of Famer is hitting .452 with a 1.597 OPS and six home runs this month. Paul Goldschmidt is slashing .340/.422/.636 on the way to a possible MVP season and St. Louis is averaging eight runs a game during their seven-game winning streak.
The ageless Adam Wainwright and Lizard King Miles Mikolas are holding together the rotation, which has had a lot of injury issues. The bullpen is also shaky at times but that doesn’t seem to matter when your hitters are putting up big numbers.
This is the second five-game series the Cubs and Cardinals have played this season, with Chicago taking three of five from St. Louis in June. This is a much better version of the Redbirds than earlier this season, though, so it’s going to be a tough series. It will be a good test to see where David Ross‘s team is at the moment.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, August 22 at 7:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
- Tuesday, August 23 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee Sports Network.
- Tuesday, August 23 at 7:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
- Wednesday, August 24 at 7:05pm CT on Marquee Sports Network.
- Thursday, August 25 at 1:20pm CT on MLB Network (out of market only) and Marquee Sports Network.
What to Watch For
- With the doubleheader and the back injury to Keegan Thompson, the Cubs rotation is still up in the air for this series.
- Nick Madrigal continues to put up quality at-bats mostly hitting leadoff of late.
- Seiya Suzuki had five hits against the Brewers, including three for extra bases.
- Wainwright will be making his 47th career start against the Cubs. He has put up a 3.80 career ERA in 291.1 innings pitched against Chicago.
- Assad will make his MLB debut Tuesday in Game 1 of the doubleheader.