Major League Baseball
Preview
St. Louis at Chi. Cubs
When: 2:20 PM ET, Friday, July 21, 2017
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

The hot streak the Chicago Cubs have waited for all season has finally arrived. The surging Cubs aim for a seventh consecutive victory when they open a three-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.



Chicago was two games under .500 and 5 1/2 games behind National League Central leader Milwaukee at the All-Star break, but the Cubs have won six straight to start the second half and closed within a game of the Brewers. St. Louis has lost two straight but is just 4 1/2 games behind Milwaukee. Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez looks to continue his strong performance against the Cubs, as he has limited Chicago to three runs over 14 innings in two meetings this season. His counterpart, fellow right-hander Jake Arrieta, has enjoyed success against St. Louis, going 8-3 with a 2.00 ERA in 15 career meetings.

TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), ABC 7 (Chicago)



PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.36 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.17)

The Cardinals have been defeated in Martinez’s last five starts while he took the loss in three of them. The 25-year-old Dominican has posted quality starts in five of his last seven outings, though, including Sunday at Pittsburgh where he allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision. Martinez is 4-3 with a 4.16 ERA in 21 games (11 starts) against the Cubs.

Arrieta started the second half with a strong outing at Baltimore on Saturday, holding his former team to two runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old has won three of his last five starts, posting a 2.97 ERA over that span. Arrieta is 28-13 with a 2.37 ERA all-time at Wrigley Field, including a 3-1 mark and a 4.01 ERA in six outings this season.



WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs 3B Kris Bryant is day-to-day with a sprained left pinkie finger and could get a day off Friday, as he is 3-for-22 with 11 strikeouts against Martinez.

2. Cardinals 1B Matt Carpenter is 1-for-29 with nine strikeouts against Arrieta, his former college teammate at TCU.

3. St. Louis OF Randal Grichuk, who could return from his rehab stint during the series, is 7-for-19 with two doubles, two home runs, and five RBIs against the Cubs this season.



PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Cubs 3


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
St. Louis 46-49 L2 26-24 20-25 20-9 16-23 7-9 3-8
Chi. Cubs 49-45 W6 24-20 25-25 13-8 22-17 9-14 5-6
Last Meeting
St. Louis Chi. Cubs
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/4/17 STL 6 CHC 7 .188 1 .641 .290 2 .922
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis Y. Molina .290 9 .959
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .276 8 .827
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis Y. Molina 3 6 6
Chi. Cubs W. Contreras 3 5 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 3.69 .220 73
Chi. Cubs 3.20 .208 85
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis J. Gyorko .290 86 .849
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant .275 88 .929
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Carpenter 14 55 45
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 23 56 60
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 3.89 .256 792
Chi. Cubs 4.01 .245 812