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Cubs vs. Cardinals: Rubber Match Preview

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The Cubs will look to bounce back after a tough 4-2 loss last night to the Cardinals behind a couple 2 run HR’s. Jon Lester will start for the Cubs (16-4 2.51 ERA) and could possibly bring his ERA to 2nd in the NL, only behind teammate Kyle Hendricks. Carlos Martinez (14-7 3.05 ERA) will go for the Cardinals.

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Lester will be looking to extend his 8-game quality start streak. Since his streak began in late July, Lester is 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Opposing hitters are hitting .191 in that span. If he keeps up his pace, don’t be surprised if his name comes into the Cy Young Race as he is capable of pitching like a Cy Young, as we all know.

Some of the Cubs best hitters have been cold lately, most notably led by MVP candidate IF/OF Kris Bryant. Since the start of September he is 8-41 which is a meekly .195 BA and has hit only 1 HR with 4 RBI. The Cubs many not need him necessarily right now but by the time the playoffs hit he has to pick up his game. And there is no reason to think that he won’t. You can almost expect a couple off days for the slugger as Joe Maddon wants to give his guys some rest up until the playoffs.

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If the Cubs win today, their magic number drops to 1. Which means they will have the opportunity to clinch the division at home for the first time since 2008 and one step closer to breaking the curse.

First pitch is at 12:45 PM CT and will be broadcasted on ABC 7 and 670 The Score.

Thank you for reading.

(photo credit: grantland.com)

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