Chicago Cubs: NL Rivals meet for showdown weekend in Wrigley

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals come into Wrigley touting first place in the National League Central Division race, while the Chicago Cubs are smoking hot after sweeping the Seattle Mariner’s this week.  Who’s got the edge this weekend?

While Chicago Cubs fans have been watching the team slowly get their stride back, the St. Louis Cardinals have been racking up wins early in the season to take first place in the National League Central Division.

While pitching hasn’t been something to write home about for the Cardinals, their bats have been extremely hot. With a leader showcase that looks something like this: shortstop Paul DeJong .336 batting average and 41 hits, left fielder Marcell Ozuna 10 home runs and 29 RBI and Dexter Fowler – yes Fowler is back to his former self with a .415 OBP for the right fielder. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt has got nine home runs himself and 32 hits, so you can see that the Cardinals are coming into Wrigley with bats ready to explode.

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Here’s how our friendly confine heroes matchup in the hitting department: Right fielder Jason Heyward has got a .329 average and a .438 OBP right now, and shortstop Javier Bez has 10 home runs, 24 RBI and 38 hits right now.  First baseman Anthony Rizzo has fewer home runs and hits than the Cards Goldschmidt but has more doubles, a triple and one more RBI than his nemesis.

What the Chicago Cubs have that the Cards have been looking for, is pitching. The Cubs starting pitchers have expertly managed a 2.34 ERA over their last 17 games.  I’ve never seen the Cubs pitching be more together than it is right now.

With right-hander Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and lefty Jose Quintana standing by as the Cubs probables, the Cards don’t have the arms to compete. If the Cubs have an edge, it is undoubtedly in home field advantage and pitching.

The tension is so thick between these two teams; you could slice it with a knife. The Cards have missed the playoffs the last three years, and management and players are fired up to get back to the big game. The Cubs, of course, won the series and have been either in the postseason or knocking the Cards out of it.

Though the Cubs enter the game Friday in second place behind the Cardinals, it certainly is the Cardinals who are more concerned about the matchup as the Cubs have honestly been a more holistically well-rounded team the past few seasons.

Next. It's been a roller coaster season already for the Cubs. dark

Will we see any drama between Catcher Yadier Molina and 3rd baseman Kris Bryant? This will be the first regular-season meeting since the famous, “St. Louis is boring”, remark made by Bryant. Molina has been the aggressor in the media, but it’ll be interesting to see if any sparks carry-over. No matter what way you look at it, this weekend’s rival showdown should be some great baseball.

Molina certainly won’t be bored in Chicago.

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