Chicago Cubs (88-69) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (82-75)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, September 28th, 7:00 pm EST
Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.14 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (11-8, 3.47 ERA)
Line: St. Louis -200/Chicago Cubs +180
The Cubs and the Cardinals close out a four game series in St. Louis on Thursday. The Cubs won the opening game on Monday by a score of 10-2 to get within one game of clinching the NL West, but the Cardinals beat them 8-7 on Tuesday night denying them the clinch. At least for now. The Cubs only need one more win or one loss by the Brewers and they will be in the playoffs with a chance to defend their World Series title.
The Cardinals are still in the wild card race, but the chances are dwindling by the day. Even though they won on Tuesday, so did the Brewers and the Rockies, both teams the Cardinals are chasing. As of this writing, the Cards trail the Brewers by a game and the Rockies by 2.5 games. And they are running out of time.
Hendricks gets the call
Kyle Hendricks gets the call for the Cubs on Thursday, and he is rounding into form at just the right time. While he finished second in the Cy Young last year, he has been very up and down this year, even though he’s kept a guy ERA, coming into Thursday’s game at 3.14. He’s only 7-5 overall, although he has missed some starts, but he’s still made 23 starts, which makes seven wins surprisingly low.
As I said, he is rounding into shape, however, having pitched great in his last two starts. Two starts back, he went 7.2 innings allowing only six hits and one earned run and getting the win. He came back in his last start and went six innings, allowing only one earned run again. He didn’t get the win, but he pitched well and that’s what matters heading into the postseason.
Lynn has had a solid season
Lance Lynn gets the call for the Cardinals on Thursday, and he is likely trying to keep the Cardinals season alive. He’s had a very solid year, coming into the game with a record of 11-8 and an ERA of 3.47. He hasn’t been nearly as good as of late however, going 1-2 with an amazing six no decisions over his last nine starts. He’s pitched well enough, just not getting much run support.
His last start was his worst start of the year by a huge margin. He lasted only two thirds of an inning and gave up six hits, two walks, and eight earned runs. That’s right, eight earned runs and didn’t even finish an inning. Needless to say, he took the loss in an 11-6 final. Now he faces the big-hitting Cubs with the season on the line.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- 1-4 in Hendricks’ last 5 starts vs. the National League Central
- 2-6 in Hendricks’ last 8 road starts
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a right handed starter
- 6-2 in their last 8 home games
- 5-2 in their last 7 Thursday games
The Cardinals have always been a resilient bunch, and I don’t see any reason that will change at the end of this season. Kyle Hendricks has been up and down this year, and I think the Cardinals can eke out a close fought win on Thursday and stay in the wild card race. Let’s take St. Louis at home.