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Series Preview 8/17-19: Cardinals at Cubs

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Five games in three days. Who’s ready?

MLB: Game One-St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago White Sox Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a two-plus-week hiatus after 18 members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19, the Cardinals swept the doubleheader from the White Sox on the South Side on Saturday before dropping Sunday’s contest. It was a series win, nonetheless, and it will take several of those to stay in the thick of the Central division race.

Hustle and Go! Cards Ride 4-Run First to 5-1 Victory over Sox

Cards Sweep Twin-Bill With 6-3 Win Behind O’Neill’s Homer

Four-Straight Sox Socks Stifle Sweep

This will be a big week for the Cardinals, as they are on the North Side for the next three days to play five games with the Cubs. The Cubs find themselves 13-6 at the start of play Monday, leading the division with a .684 winning percentage. The Brewers slowed down the Cubs a bit over the weekend, taking three of four in Chicago. Both the Brewers and Cardinals sit at .500, with 10-10 and 4-4 records, respectively, followed by the 9-11 Reds and 4-14 Pirates.

(!!!!!!!!!!)

Over the next five games, St. Louis plans for three of them to be started by rotation members and the other two to be handled by the bullpen. Kwang Hyun Kim will start the first game on Monday. Daniel Ponce de Leon will go on Tuesday evening, and Jack Flaherty is expected to start the first game on Wednesday. Austin Gomber is expected to rejoin the team on Monday and he could start the second half of either Monday or Wednesday’s doubleheaders.

The Cubs placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the injured list with a back strain, so we will not see him this week. Kyle Hendricks will get the nod for Monday’s first game, and Yu Darvish is in line to take the mound for Chicago on Tuesday. Alec Mills is likely to start one of Wednesday’s games, but this is all (as is everything nowadays) subject to change.

Paul Goldschmidt (.333) and Dexter Fowler (.318) enter the week hitting over .300 through the Cardinals’ eight games in 2020. Tyler O’Neill has hit three home runs, and rookie Dylan Carlson collected his first big league hits over the weekend. Might we see Carlson’s first long ball this week? I hope we get to see his family’s reaction to that, whenever it may happen!

Ian Happ has been one of the sparks through the Cubs’ first 19 games. The 26-year-old switch-hitter has a 1.006 OPS with three homers. Anthony Rizzo is leading the way with five big flies, and Jason Heyward has a team-best 11 runs batted in.

The Cardinals will be the home team in the second games of both doubleheaders.

Monday, 8/17, 4:15 - Game 1 — FSMW, KMOX for both games

Tuesday, 8/18, 7:15 — FS1, FSMW, KMOX

Wednesday, 8/19, 1:20 - Game 1 — FSMW, KMOX for both games