Editorial by: Graydon Fox
1st Place: $25 Amazon gift card
2nd-5th Place: $10 Amazon gift card
Top 5 Winners:
- Steven Salter (400 points)
- Brian Spooner (300 points)
- Heather Brown (300 points)
- Gabe Monroe (300 points)
- Nick Salter (300 points)
On Sunday, June 17th, the (38-26) Chicago Cubs will be on the road to take on the (36-29) St. Louis Cardinals.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Cubs 5.2 – Cardinals 4.1 with an over/under of 9.3.
CHC: Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.09) vs STL: Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.96)
Runs per game: Cubs 4.97 (5th) > Cardinals 4.29 (17th)
Batting Average: Cubs .259 (5th) > Cardinals .243 (18th)
On Base Percentage: Cubs .340 (1st) > Cardinals .315 (18th)
Total Bases: Cubs 941 (12th) > Cardinals 864 (24th)
Stolen Bases: Cubs 29 (18th) > Cardinals 26 (22nd)
Team Earned Run Average: Cubs 3.18 (2nd) > Cardinals 3.59 (8th)
Batting Average Against: Cubs .216 (2nd) > Cardinals .238 (10th)
Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched: Cubs 1.25 (13th) > Cardinals 1.28 (14th)
Strikeouts: Cubs 567 (16th) > Cardinals 547 (21st)
Saves: Cubs 19 (7th) > Cardinals 17 (14th)
Errors: Cubs 42 (25th) > Cardinals 48 (28th)
The Cubs enter the game ranking 5th in runs per game (4.97) and 2nd in team earned run average (3.18). The Cubs are (7-3) in their last ten games and (19-13) on the road this season. Kris Bryant (.281, 8 HR, 29 RBI) and Anthony Rizzo (.243, 11, HR, 46 RBI) are off to slow starts by their lofty standards but still pace the way for a potent Cubs offense. Javier Baez (.251, 14 HR, 46 RBI) is quickly blossoming into the superstar many envisioned when the Cubs drafted him 9th overall in 2011. Chicago’s starting rotation has been solid but their dynamite bullpen has the 3rd best ERA (2.69) in the league. The Cubs have been poor defensively this season ranking 25th with 42 errors. The Cubs will be facing off against Cardinals righty Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.96) who is off to an excellent start this season. Flaherty has posted a (2-1, 3.38) line at Busch Stadium in 2018.
The Cardinals rank 17th in runs per game (4.29) and 8th in team ERA (3.59). St. Louis is (6-4) in their last ten games and (20-15) at home this season. The Cardinals offense has struggled as Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter have vastly underperformed. Big offseason acquisition Marcell Ozuna (.283, 7 HR, 35 RBI) is starting to heat up after shaking off a slow start. Thankfully for the Cardinals, Jose Martinez (.322, 10 HR, 42 RBI) has emerged out of nowhere as one of the best players in the league in the early portion of the season. Pitching has been a problem for St. Louis as their bullpen ranks 23rd in ERA (4.47). Typically known for their strong defense, the Cardinals have been uncharacteristically ranking 28th with 48 errors. The Cardinals will be up against lefty Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.09) who they have a combined .324 average against in 74 at-bats. Quintana has been terrific on the road this season (4-2, 2.68) and has a (3-0, 3.09) line since the beginning of May.
The Cardinals are (4-1) against the Cubs this season outscoring them 25-22 in those games. Quintana has certainly pitched better as of late but the familiarity and prior success give the Cardinals the advantage in this pitching match-up. If St. Louis can score early they’ll have the edge because they don’t want a battle of bullpens where the Cubs excel.
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