|5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, July 30, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 46,123
Cardinals, Cubs battle for NL Central lead
Excitement and uncertainty surround the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals as the teams prepare to open a three-game series Tuesday night.
The series opener in St. Louis features two longtime rivals tied for first place in the National League Central. It also marks the last game before Wednesday afternoon's trade deadline -- with both teams vowing they have enough to win now but also scouring the market for a boost.
"We control our own destiny," Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber said in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Not surprisingly, the Cardinals feel the same way.
St. Louis is coming off a road series in which it dropped two of three games against the Houston Astros. The Cubs also are looking to regroup after dropping two of three games on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The teams have played each other nine times this season, and the home team has won every game. The Cubs swept a three-game series at Wrigley Field from May 3-5, the Cardinals swept a three-game series at Busch Stadium from May 31-June 2, and the Cubs answered back with a three-game sweep at Wrigley from June 7-9.
"Thinking back to the last time we played them, we owe them a few," Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Sweeps thus far. Hopefully that continues for us at home here."
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (7-7, 4.63 ERA) is scheduled to make his 20th start of the season. He picked up a win his last time out despite giving up four runs in five innings at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 48 career games (39 starts) against Chicago, the 37-year-old Wainwright is 16-12 with a 4.06 ERA. This will be his fourth start of the season against the Cubs, having posted a 1-2 record with a 4.67 ERA.
The Cubs will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish (3-4, 4.54), who is set to make his 22nd start. He has been sharp since the All-Star break, allowing four runs on 10 hits in 18 innings for a 2.00 ERA. He has walked two and struck out 21 during that time.
The 32-year-old Darvish is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts -- both this season -- against St. Louis.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said he is expecting a hard-fought series that would require discipline from his pitchers and his hitters.
"We've got to throw strikes, we've got to be ahead in the count -- control counts on both sides of the equation," Shildt told the Post-Dispatch. "We get good pitches to hit, we take our good swings, we'll be in good shape if we continue to play solid defense, run the bases, play fundamentally sound, play smart and compete like we're capable of competing. Which we will. It's a habit of this team."
The Cardinals are 29-22 at home this season.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 20-31 on the road, which is a far cry from their 36-18 record in Chicago.
"It's strange," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "It's obviously something that this group, this era of Cubs baseball, hasn't experienced. We obviously have two more months left. This year, it hasn't (gone well on the road). But we can start writing our own script (Tuesday)."
--Field Level Media
Updated July 30, 2019