It may be getting a little old to read my apologies for these abbreviated posts, but I’m still at a family gathering and it’s my wedding anniversary. I think it’s only fair to get a win as a gift.
The Cubs have won eight games in a row and have a chance to push that to nine by completing a rare four-game sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis. This recent hot stretch has narrowed the gap in the NL Central to 3.5 games with 58 left to play, and the Cubs look very much like deadline buyers now that they’re up to over 32% postseason odds.
Kyle Hendricks is on the bump to face the Cards for the first time this season, but he’s 13-3 against them with a 2.69 ERA in 25 starts over the course of his career. Over 176 at-bats, members of the current St. Louis roster have a .227 average with 31 strikeouts, eight walks, and just four homers against The Professor.
Three of those dingers have come from Nolan Arenado, who has been involved in trade rumors over the last few days. The team reportedly hadn’t spoken to the start third baseman about his future, however, and recently had to come out with a statement saying they’re focused on “future success” and will not be moving Arenado.
Even if he manages to get over on Hendricks again this afternoon, it won’t matter if the Cubs can avenge their loss to Steven Matz. The lefty is 1-7 on the season, with the lone win coming when he held the Cubs to one run on three hits in the series opener at Wrigley 10 days ago. As you may recall, that’s the last game the Cubs lost.
Matz has been a lot better at home, but it’s high time the splits balanced out. Nico Hoerner will get the party started as the leadoff hitter and second baseman, followed by Seiya Suzuki in right and Cody Bellinger in center. Yan Gomes cleans up as the DH, Dansby Swanson is at short, and Christopher Morel is in left. Trey Mancini handles first base, Miguel Amaya is the catcher, and Nick Madrigal is at third.
We’ll find out whether and how the Cubs can keep this rolling at 1:15pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup for the series finale vs. STL!
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 30, 2023