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Series Preview 9/4-7: Cardinals at Cubs

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MLB: Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals
Waino will start the first game of Saturday’s twin bill.
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals took two of three from the Reds this week and sit an even .500 record, 14-14 as we enter Labor Day weekend. The Cubs

In the series opener on Friday evening, perhaps the best pitching matchup of the series will be on display, with Yu Darvish and Jack Flaherty scheduled to take the mound. Darvish was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for August. During the month, Darvish went 5-0 in five starts with a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings. Darvish whiffed 40 batters and walked only seven.

Flaherty has went five innings apiece in his last two starts, against the Royals and Indians. Flaherty started six games against the Cubs in 2019, maintaining a 2.23 FIP and holding the Chicago batters to a .151 batting mark.

These teams will play two on Saturday; the Cardinals will be the visiting team for the first game and the home team for the second. The Cubs’ pitching plans for Saturday are a bit up in the air right now. On Tuesday, Tyler Chatwood was placed on the injured list with a forearm strain. Then, on Wednesday, Jose Quintana joined Chatwood on the shelf with lat inflammation. The Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright to the mound for the first game, and Dakota Hudson will start the second game.

Wainwright is coming off a complete game against the Indians on Sunday, which happened to be his 39th birthday and the 2,000th career game of his batterymate, Yadier Molina. Leading up to the complete game, Wainwright turned in back-to-back, seven-inning outings, against the Reds and Royals.

Hudson is coming off his best start of the season thus far: one earned run in seven frames against the Reds. This will be Hudson’s first start of the year against the Cubs and the third of his career.

Dakota Hudson May Be Improving

Sunday night’s game will feature lefties Jon Lester and Kwang Hyun Kim. Over his last four starts, Lester has allowed 19 earned runs in 20 innings. This came after Lester opened the year with two earned runs over 17 innings. Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong were both 3-for-5 off Lester last year, and Harrison Bader hit one of his 12 home runs.

In his four starts for the Cardinals, Kim has been very impressive. Kim enters the weekend with a scoreless inning streak of 17 innings (if you don’t count the unearned run on 8/27). Kim holds a 0.83 ERA in 21 23 innings in 2020.

The five-game series will wrap up Monday afternoon with Kyle Hendricks and Johan Oviedo. In 19 career starts against the Cardinals, Hendricks has an even 3.00 ERA over 120 innings, holding the Cardinals’ batters to a collective .288 OBP. Hendricks worked into the seventh inning against the Cardinals back on 8/17 and fell victim to some Brad Miller heroics.

An unbelievable bullpen and Brad Miller lead Cards in 3-1 win

Oviedo made his Major League debut back on 8/19 at Wrigley Field and will make the fourth start of his career on Monday. Against the Cubs in his debut, Oviedo logged five innings and held the Cubs to two runs. Oviedo will look to pitch beyond the fifth inning for the first time.

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Friday, 9/4, 7:15 | Darvish vs. Flaherty | FSMW, KMOX

Doubleheader — Saturday, 9/5, 4:15 | TBD vs. Wainwright | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX

Game 2: | TBD vs. Hudson | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR

Sunday, 9/6, 6:08 | Lester vs. Kim | ESPN, KMOX

Monday, 9/7, 3:10 | Hendricks vs. Oviedo | ESPN, FSMW, KMOX