Fantasy Preview Cubs vs Cardinals 25th Sep 2017

With less than one week to go in the regular season, only five games separate the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. The baseball gods must have seen this coming, and thus scheduled a four game series between the two, starting Monday, September 25th @ Cardinalls. It’s only fitting that these two bitter rivals will battle each other to decide who has the final ownership of the National League Central crown.

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As you’d expect when these two teams play each other, especially with the stakes being what they are, there’s no shortage of star power to watch for. Fans — and fantasy baseball players — will get to see two of the very best pitching staffs in all of baseball battle face off in three duels that should a lot of fun to watch.

While the Cubs will send embattled veteran Jon Lester to the mound in game on (on the 25th), it will be the Cubs pitcher in game two that will have the most intrigue: ace righthander Jake Arrieta. Arrieta pitched only five innings in his last start against Milwaukee, and whether or not he’ll be allowed to go longer against St. Louis, while the team balances his workload before the postseason, will be worth watching. When he’s on, Arrieta is as good as any pitcher in the league, but he’s given up nine hits and four earned runs in seven innings of work in September.

The Cardinals will start the series with young pitcher Luke Weaver, who’s made quite the impression with a 2.05 ERA and 1.103 WHIP in 11 appearances this year. He’s allowed four earned runs in four starts this month. St. Louis will also put Michael Wacha on the mound for game three (on Wednesday the 27th). Wacha is tied for the team lead with 12 wins, and has held opponents to three or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts.

Opposite Wacha, the Cubs will be starting John Lackey, who’s coming off a no-decision last Friday (9/22) after allowing three runs on six hits and two walks in four innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lackey failed to complete the fifth inning for the second consecutive start, and his ERA sits at 4.67. He’s the biggest question mark in an otherwise deadly Cubs pitching rotation.

But after Lacky, St. Louis probably won’t be very pleased to see right handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs in the final game of the series (on Thursday the 28th). The last time Hendricks faced the Cardinals (September 16th), he had his longest start of the season, allowing just a solo homer in 7 2/3 innings in a 4-1 win. To make matters worse, the Cardinals will send right hander Lance Lynn to the mound.

His last start was a disastrous one, when he gave up eight runs on six hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning against the Pirates. His season ERA has jumped more than half a run — from 2.94 to 3.47 — over his last three starts, and he has just three more strikeouts (16) then walks (13) in five September outings.

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