With the Cardinals coming to town this weekend, who knows what to expect. This series is always a fun one.
What a way to send both teams to the all star break. Both teams are getting set for a four game series that will be played in three days with first place up for grabs.
Game one is set for Saturday (7/11) at 1:20pm CT. Set to start for the Cubs is Rich Harden (5-5 5.35 ERA) and for the Cardinals is Brad Thompson (2-5 4.92 ERA).
Advantage has to go to the Cubs in game one. Yes, Harden hasn't been very consistent this year as seen in his 5-5 record and 5.35 ERA but Thompson isn't a proven starter like Harden is. Harden wins this by default.
This is a tie. Both teams will be well rested and pretty healthy going into this series. The Cardinals had a day off before the Brewers series on Monday and the Cubs will have a day off the day before game one.
This one goes to the Cubs. The Cubs have been very shaky as of late with their hitting as seen in the Atlanta series, but they are very capable of scoring runs as seen in the Milwaukee and Pittsburgh series.
Game One Winner: Chicago Cubs
The slated starters for game two are Ted Lilly for the Cubs (8-6 3.32 ERA) and Cris Carpenter for the Cardinals (6-3 2.32 ERA). The game is on Sunday (7/12) and the start time is at 3:10pm CT.
This is a tie. Both pitchers are so good in their own right. Both are proven vets and can do a lot of damage on the mound for their respective teams. As much as I personally hate the Cardinals, I have nothing but respect for Carpenter.
This won't be an issue past game one.
This goes to the Cardinals. The Cubs have historically hit Carpenter pretty poorly. Carpenter definitely has the Cubs number. I don't expect Ted to give up many runs but I don't expect the Cubs to give him many in return either.
Game Two Winner: St. Louis Cardinals
Game three is slated to start on Monday (7/12) at 12:05pm CT. Slated starters for game three are rookie stud Randy Wells for the Cubs (4-3 2.48 ERA) and Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals (9-5 3.09 ERA).
Advantage Cubs in this one. Randy Wells has been nothing short of dominant versus opponents this season. His barely above .500 record doesn't show his dominance. In 69 innings he has given up only 61 hits and 19 earned runs. Adam Wainwright has been pretty good himself but nothing compared to Randy Wells.
I think this is a tie for a game three. Neither team will score many runs or get many hits in this game. Adam Wainwright has been pretty solid for the Cardinals this season and Wells has been nothing short of extraordinary for the Cubs. This will be the definition of a pitcher's duel.
Game Three Winner: Chicago Cubs
Game four is the second game of the day-night double header on Monday. Game time is scheduled for 7:05pm CT.
Starters for game four are Carlos Zambrano for the Cubs (4-4 3.47 ERA) and Todd Wellemeyer for the Cardinals (7-7 5.58 ERA).
Advantage Cubs in game four. Zambrano has been pretty good for the Cubs during this season. A head case as usual at times but versus the Cardinals, I expect him to have his head between his shoulders.
Advantage Cubs also. The Cubs have historically, to my knowledge, hit Wellemeyer well enough to get by with a W. Expect the bats to be alive in game four.
Game Four Winner: Chicago Cubs
Expect this to be a grudge match between these two teams. With two of the best managers to ever coach in the game of baseball at the helm of the Cubs and Cardinals, I expect a great weekend series out of these two teams.
The Cubs-Cardinals series never ceases to be a great series even when one of the teams is out of the hunt for the division.