The Chicago Cubs came out of the break firing on all cylinders. They have won six in a row and look to keep that going as they open a series at Wrigley against the Cardinals.
The Chicago Cubs (49-45) return to Wrigley Field this afternoon to take on the St. Louis Cardinals (46-49), looking to continue their hot start. Fresh off a six-game road winning streak, the Cubs send right-hander Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17 ERA) to the mound. He will opposed by Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA).
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Martinez is putting together a very solid season for the Cardinals. Righties are batting just .178 off him. Martinez is 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA in 21 career games against the Cubs. He has had some very dominant starts and surrendered just three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings the last time he faced them. This will be his first time facing them at Wrigley Field this season.
Likewise, Arrieta is on a nice little hot streak of his own. He has a 1.86 ERA in his last three starts and has a career ERA of 2.00 in 15 starts against the Cardinals. His strikeout rate of 9.7 per innings shows he’s pitching his best against the Cardinals.
This has the makings to be a pitcher’s dual. Martinez and Arrieta have both been very good against their opponents. With the playoff race heating up, this game (and series) is important for both teams. The Cubs are now just one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers (52-46) and the Cardinals are just four and half back. The Cubs have won six of the nine games against the Cardinals so far this season.
After spraining a finger on his left hand, Kris Bryant will not be in the lineup for the opener this afternoon. According to ESPN, he may miss the entire weekend. Without Bryant, a white-hot Javy Baez takes over the third-base duties plus Jason Heyward gets his first crack at leading off. Her is the rest of the Cubs lineup:
As of 11:20 p.m. CT, the Cardinals’ lineup was not yet released.
First pitch is set for 1:20pm on ABC-7 Chicago and WSCR 670 the Score. The Cubs are looking for their seventh-straight win.