2015 NLDS Preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

Jake Arrieta dominated the Pirates in leading the Cubs to a Wild Card game victory. Now Arrieta and the Cubs will face their division rivals, the Cardinals, in the NLDS.

St. Louis Cardinals (100-62)

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Game 1: John Lackey (13-10, 2.77 ERA)

Game 2: Jaime Garcia (10-6, 2.43 ERA)

Game 3: Michael Wacha (17-7, 3.38 ERA)

Game 4: Lance Lynn (12-11, 3.03 ERA)

Vs.

Chicago Cubs

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Game 1: Jon Lester (11-12, 3.34 ERA)

Game 2: Kyle Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA)

Game 3: Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA)

Game 4: Jason Hammel (10-7, 3.74 ERA)

The Cardinals won a hundred games this year? How are they so good every year. How did they do it? Not with their offense. St. Louis finished 24th in runs scored this year. When you look at their lineup you can understand their struggles. Matt Carpenter is amazing and Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta had solid seasons but they didn’t get much else outside of them. Their two veterans, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, missed a good amount of time this year. This offense just won’t intimidate anyone.

The Cardinals won so many games this year because of their pitching. Their overall pitching performance this year was historically good. They had a team ERA of less than three. The bullpen was great as always and now includes Adam Wainwright. The one flaw with their pitching staff is that they don’t really have a top of the line starter. John Lackey is starting game 1. For the team with the best record in the sport, that’s sad. The good news for St. Louis is that the starters behind Lackey may all be better than him.

We wrote about the Cubs young hitters earlier in our Wild Card preview. Kyle Schwarber showed everyone how good he was in that game and now it should be Kris Bryant’s turn. We shouldn’t ignore veterans like Dexter Fowler or Miguel Montero either. This Cubs offense is talented enough to score some runs against the Cards pitching.

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Jake Arrieta was amazing again in the Wild Card game. The problem is he will only be available to pitch in one game this series. The Cubs will be forced t use lesser pitchers like Henricks and Hammel. The Cubs chances will rely on former World Series hero Jon Lester. If he pitches well the Cubs should get by the top seeded Cardinals.

The Pick:

Cubs in 5

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