The Chicago Cubs conclude a disappointing road trip that has seen them drop to just 2 games above .500, when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. The Cubs’ record sits at 16-14, putting them in 3rd place in the National League Central division. Playing within the same division, St. Louis’s record is now 19-12, good enough to put them in 1st place, one half game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. Jon Lester will look to get the Cubs back on track, with his record standing at 2-1 on the year. Michael Wacha, who takes the hill for the Cardinals, has a 4-1 record so far this young season. St. Louis is favored in this matchup: at -110.
The north-siders are going to need at least a decent game from Jon Lester. The Cubs have good, but not great, numbers at the plate. Ben Zobrist leads the way, batting .292. Zobrist has 1 homerun on the year, while driving in 9 runs. He has also crossed the plate himself 8 times. These type of numbers point to plenty of wasted opportunities for the Cubs. Other players will have to step up and hit the ball well.
Javier Baez is batting .283 on the year. Baez has been the clutch performer, driving in an impressive 28 runs on the season. He has also slugged 9 doubles and 8 homeruns. The recipe for success for the Cubs would be for the players batting before Baez to do whatever they can to get on base.
St. Louis Cardinals
Despite the small sample size, Jedd Gyorko has been having a good season for St. Louis. He has been to the plate only 27 times. Within this small amount of at bats, Gyorko has bat .370, driving in 5.
Tommy Pham has been delivering for the Cardinals all year long. Pham is batting .327 while crossing the plate a massive 24 times. This guy likes to get on base, and his teammates reward him for that. Pham, however, left Saturday’s game with right groin tightness. His status for Sunday’s game will come later, but his absence would leave a big hole in the Cardinal lineup.
Jose Martinez is also performing at a stellar rate for St. Louis. Martinez is batting .298 on the year. His most impressive stat, however, could be his RBIs, which he has 18 of. Look for Martinez to be a factor. Regardless of who, somebody has to get it done with men on base if St. Louis is going to complete the sweep.
Cardinals Sweep Cubs
While both teams have decent numbers on the season, the Cardinals seem to have the Cubs’ number this year. Lester could have a great performance for the Cubs, but I would guess more of a decent outing that sees the Cubs drop it 3-1 or maybe 4-2. This, however, could be changed by a good hitting performance by Baez and someone near him in the lineup, but I would still hedge my bets toward St. Louis. Take St. Louis at -110
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