Cubs vs Cardinals Rivalry

The Cubs-Cardinals Rivalry in Perspective

After this weekend's Cardinals sweep of the Cubs, many fans have been wondering if this really is as much of a rivalry as the media makes it out to be. The perception seems to be that the fans are not as into it as they are other rivalries (perhaps White Sox, Royals), and that it has been a mostly one-sided match-up in recent years. While it is difficult to measure the first claim, we can examine the second. The table below shows the last 20 years of Cubs-Cardinals match-ups, including the head-to-head record for that year and each team’s overall winning percentage at the end of the season. Overall, the Cubs’ record vs. the Cardinals for the past 20 years has been 147-165, or a .471 winning percentage, which suggest the teams have played each other at much closer to parity than perceptions suggest. The Cubs have mostly held their own. This is even more impressive when looking at the season winning percentages. The Cardinals have had the better season record in 15 of the last 20 seasons, yet the Cubs have taken 9 of the head-to-head matchups. In several seasons (2005, 2006, and 2010) the Cubs far exceeded expectations: below-.500 Cubs teams dominated much better Cardinals teams on the season. These are small sample sizes and anything can happen in a short series, so we can’t take much away from this. But it should at least be clear that the Cardinals have had an advantage in the rivalry in recent decades but that is largely due to them fielding far superior teams, and that advantage hasn’t been as big as we might think.     

Top 5 Favorite Cubs vs. Cardinals Moments

When you start writing a sports blog, there's a little handbook handed out to everyone that tells you how to drive up your traffic. The list includes posting drunken photos of players, hot women (they don't even have to be sports-related), making up trade rumors and top ten lists. The criteria for this post was the top ten moments I could remember off the top of my head...I only came up with five.

#5 - Michael Barrett grand slam home run at Wrigley

There wasn't a whole lot of hope entering the 2006 season, but there still was some if EVERYTHING broke the right way. And if Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were healthy ($5 to the TCR tip jar for uttering that phrase). The Cubs started off splitting two against the Reds on the road and then came home for three against the Cardinals. By the time Sunday rolled around, they had won the first two and were looking for blood - Cardinal blood!!

Sean Marshall got the first start of his career and put the Cubs in a quick two-run hole after giving up a first-inning blast to Scott Rolen. The Cubs battled back and by the eighth it was 4-3 Cardinals. After Ricardo Rincon walked Todd Walker to leadoff the inning, God's-gift-to-managing Tony LaRussa went to his closer Jason Isringhausen for the two-inning save. He promptly walked Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez  to load them up for Michael Barrett. Barrett then nailed a 2-2 pitch deep into the Sunday night air, way out in left field to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead. They added an insurance run and won 8-4.

The Cubs made it through April with a 13-10 record and then lost about 25 straight to start May and maybe another 15 or so to end May and I think there were a few 10 and 8 game losing streaks as well in June and July. But for one magnificent evening, Michael Barrett made us feel like champions (cue theme song from "Rudy").  

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  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 2 min 21 sec ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 4 hours 11 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 6 hours 19 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 10 hours 59 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 11 hours 4 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 11 hours 57 min ago view
  • In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.

    John Beasley 13 hours 1 min ago view