Cubs @ Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 94-97)
The Cubs and the Cardinals have their final meeting before the 2021 trade deadline--with the Cubs looking to become big-time sellers and the at this point stubbornly holding on to potential free agents (Molina, Wainwright, Miller, and Kim). They'll start the series tied and nine full games behind the Brewers, two behind the Reds. The Wild Card outlook is not much better. See below for the projected matchups (to-be updated when possible).
Game 94, Monday, July 19, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Alec Mills (4-2, 4.84 ERA)
STL: RHP Jake Woodford (1-1, 4.62 ERA)
Mills earned a win before the break despite allowing three earned runs to the Phillies. He went 5.2 and stuck out five hitters. Since subbing into the rotation on June 15, he's had a 3.65 ERA, struck out more than a batter per inning, and kept his walk rate under 3 per nine innings. Matt Carpenter is 3-8 off of him with two homers, and Tommy Edman is 6-7.
Jake Woodford is set to transition from the bullpen to the rotation for his first start in 2021. He's made 17 relief appearances St. Louis this season and three starts at AAA. He featured an average all around four pitch mix and relatively high walk rates this season. In 55 plate appearances this season, lefties have a significant advantage, batting over .300 and slugging over .600 off of the righty.
Game 95, Tuesday, July 20, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA)
Trevor Williams has made on appearance since returning from the IL, a 3.2 inning relief appearance in which he allowed seven runs, three earned, to the Phillies. He's had inconsistent command and inconsistent results throughout the first two months of the season prior to his appendectomy. The strikeouts have been there, but he's also missed in the zone and gotten hit very hard at times, leading to a .353 BABIP and a high homerun rate.
The Cardinals could potentially recall Johan Oviedo, although the top prospect has struggled in the majors this year and even had a bit of a shouting match with an opposing hitter a couple of weeks back.
Game 96, Wednesday, July 21, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (12-4, 3.65 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (7-6, 3.61 ERA)
This one is the classic Cubs vs. Cards matchup. Hendricks has won 10 of his last 12 and twice has not earned a decision. Going back to May 16, he's held an ERA of 2.48 and a walk rate of only 1.53 per nine innings. His homerun rate during that time is just a touch over one per nine innings. No Cardinals have truly feasted off of Hendricks, although he has not fully nullified Arenado or Goldschmidt. Adam Wainwright is one for two off the righty with a double.
Wainwright took a loss to the Giants on July 16, giving up four earned runs including two homers over six innings. He did, however, strike out seven and allowed five hits and one walk in that time. Ian Happ is 8-17 with four homeruns off of him while Javy is 5-32 with 11 strikeouts.
Game 97, Thursday, July 22, 7:15 pm central
CHC: RHP Adbert Alzolay (4-9, 4.59 ERA)
STL: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (5-5, 2.87 ERA)
Alzolay didn't look fully in command in his last start, but he muddled through five innings allowing two earned runs. He collected a season-low two strikeouts. He's made only one career start against the Cardinals before this.
Kwang Hyun Kim has made three scoreless starts in a row and has totaled 19 innings in that time. One of those starts was against the Cubs, when he struck out seven over six innings. Lefties have really struggled off of Kim both this season and across his MLB career.