Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Big series against rival Cardinals will test reigning champs

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 19: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 19, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 19: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 19, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Arrieta, Lester and Quintana to start for Chicago

Taking on your biggest rival, it’s nice to trot out a trio of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and Jose Quintana. These three arms may very well represent the Cubs’ starting rotation come playoff time, but only time will tell.

On Friday, Arrieta squares off against St. Louis right-hander Carlos Martinez in the opener. Arrieta owns a sub-2.00 ERA over his last three outings and comes in at a 2.00 clip against St. Louis in 15 starts over his career.

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Chicago Cubs

The right-hander is hoping for another historic second-half run. Heading into free agency at the end of the year, Arrieta needs to re-establish his value before he hits the market after putting up the worst numbers of his Cubs’ career.

Martinez, meanwhile, will hope to ride his strikeout-heavy tendencies against the North Siders. He’s induced a lot of swing-and-misses from Chicago hitters in his career.

Jon Lester comes off a strong start to face St. Louis Saturday. The veteran bounced back from the worst start of his career to lead the Cubs to a win in his first post-ASG outing. Seven innings of one-run ball usually bodes well and Joe Maddon certainly wouldn’t mind that again this weekend.

Quintana gets a taste

In the finale, Jose Quintana gets his first taste of the Cubs-Cards rivalry. Sunday marks just his third career start at the Friendly Confines and third against St. Louis. He’s dominated the Cardinals in his career, to the tune of a 1.59 ERA in a pair of starts.

Chicago’s starting rotation has been markedly better – dominant, really, since opening the second half. But St. Louis’ biggest strength is its pitching so expect a head-to-head battle all weekend on the mound.

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