Cubs vs. Cardinals – Series Preview (June 2-4): TV and Game Info, Pitching Matchups, Insights
The Cubs’ recent six-game road swing was a complete disaster. A sweep at the hands of the Dodger, a team contending for the pennant in 2017, is one thing. A sweep by the sad-sack Padres is a bit of a red flag for the Northsiders.
While the starting staff has struggled during this rocky stretch, the real issue has been on offense. The Cubs went an unbelievable 3-for-40 with runners in scoring position during the road trip. Perhaps a return to the Friendly Confines will spark the dormant bats. The Cubs are slashing .221/.314/.368 as a road team, but at home they produce a slash line of .249/.334/.444 that is significantly better.
The Cardinals make their first trip to Wrigley Field this weekend, which means Dexter Fowler will finally get his World Series ring. Since they last played the Cubs, the Redbirds have struggled mightily going 5-10. The Cardinals offense has also been an issue, averaging just 2.3 runs a game over the last eight.
Tommy Pham has been the Cards’ best player since he was called back up in early May. Pham has hit .320 with an OPS of .978 in 22 games. Mike Leake continues to post solid numbers as a starter with a 2.24 ERA in 2017.
The Cubs have put themselves in a hole with the past week of poor play. They need a good series against a key division rival this weekend. If not, soon they might dig so deep they can’t get back in the race.
Game Time And Broadcast Info
- Friday, June 2 at 1:20 CT on CSN-C and MLB Network
- Saturday, June 3 at 1:20 CT on WGN
- Sunday, June 4 at 6:35 CT on ESPN
What To Watch For
- Willson Contreras may be Chicago’s hottest hitter of late (with the recent team-wide slump, that’s a relative term). He hit .333 with .500 OBP over the last week.
- Jon Lester’s last two starts were polar opposites of each other. A 99-pitch complete game against the Giants was followed by a six-run 3.1 inning start against the Dodgers. The Cubs could use the complete game version of Lester Saturday.
- Dexter Fowler makes his return to Wrigley this weekend and will be awarded his World Series ring before Friday’s game. Fowler has struggled so far as a Cardinal, hitting .230 the first two months of the season.
- Kyle Schwarber is getting a lot of negative attention, and some are even discussing a demotion to AAA for War Bear (we made that name up to sell t-shirts, you know). He is hitting an anemic .063 the last 10 games and it goes without saying the Cubs could use a hot streak from Schwarbs.