The Cubs are in the midst of a season-high six-game winning streak. A perfect road swing through Baltimore and Atlanta has completely changed the feeling around the team and Chicago now sits only a game behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers.
The young Cubs hitters who struggled in the first half have all seem to have gotten hot at once. Addison Russell, Javy Baez, and Willson Contreras all had huge stats on the trip.
The rotation, boosted by the newly acquired Jose Quintana, had solid efforts in five of the games during the streak. Kyle Hendricks is also likely to return to the staff against the White Sox next week.
After a day off, the Cubs are back home to face their bitter rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, this weekend. The Cards have struggled in 2017, but are still very much alive in the crowded NL Central at 46-49.
The Cardinals’ starting pitching is their strongest asset. Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez all have sub-3.50 ERA’s, though the regression monster is hot on the heels of a couple of those guys. As for the offense, St. Louis ranks in the middle of the pack in most categories.
The Cubs have a chance to not only seize control of the division, but also to knock the Cards firmly out of the race. A strong series would be the definition of a win-win scenario.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, July 21 at 1:20 CT on ABC-7 and MLB Network (out of market)
- Saturday, July 22 at 3:05 CT on CSN-C and Fox Sports One
- Sunday, July 23 at 7:05 CT on ESPN
What To Watch For
- Javy Baez had a decent road trip, batting .500 with two homers and six RBI over the six games after the break.
- Baez’s double-play partner doesn’t want to be left out of the party. Addison Russell hit .409 on the trip with six extra-base hits, including two homers.
- Paul DeJong is the latest Cardinals rookie to seemingly come out of nowhere to put up big stats (call it pulling a Jeremy Hazelbaker). DeJong has hit .280 with 10 homers in 43 games in 2017.
- Jose Quintana makes his first Cubs start at Wrigley Field Sunday. In two starts at Wrigley with the White Sox (14.1 IP), he had a 2.55 ERA and has held opponents to a .191 batting average.