After dropping the first three series of the season two games to one, the Chicago Cubs will face another uphill battle, traveling to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals (5-4). The game today might be the best bet for a victory, as after a Jeff Samardzija – Joe Kelly matchup tonight, the Cubs will face incredibly tough right-handers Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in games two and three.
With hopes of getting the series off on the right foot, the Cubs will send Samardzija (0-1, 1.29 ERA) to the hill, coming off another solid performance against the Philadelphia Phillies allowing just two runs while punching out eight. With a serious lack of run support in his first two starts, Shark is betting on a recently-improved Cubs` offense that has scored at least four runs in the past four games.
Kelly (1-0, 1.69) will oppose Samardzija tonight, coming off a start against Pittsburgh in which he allowed just one earned run in five-plus innings for his first win. Kelly is looking to build on his breakout 2013 campaign in which he posted a wonderful 2.69 ERA in 124 innings.
The Cubs will once again employ the platoon-heavy lineup, and it seems like the right move for today`s matchup, as Kelly has a pretty noticeable career platoon split. For his career, Kelly has held right-handers to just a .651 OPS, while left-handers have totaled an OPS of .796, which explains the lineup consisting of Luis Valbuena, Ryan Sweeney, and Ryan Kalish.
The game will be televised on CSN+, and will be on the radio at WGN 720. Here`s how the two teams will lineup, including Starlin Castro back in the six spot:
#Cubs lineup vs Cards: Bonifacio 2B, Valbuena 3B, Riz 1B, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney CF, Castro SS, Kalish LF, Castillo C, Samardzija P
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 11, 2014
Cardinals lineup vs Chicago Carpenter 3B Wong 2B Holliday LF Adams 1B Molina C Craig RF Peralta SS Bourjos CF Kelly P
— STL Sports Talk (@STLsports2) April 11, 2014