It’s the savvy veterans against the upstart kids. The team who has become a staple here matched up against the team in uncharted territory. That’s the storylines that come with the upcoming Cubs-Cardinals NLDS series. In the last decade, St. Louis has been to three World Series, winning two of them. The Cubs haven’t made it there since 1945, and haven’t won since 1908. That is all in the past though. All that matters is the present, and the present provides us with what should be a classic series.
The Cubs enter the series coming off a 4-0 win over the Pirates in the wild card game Wednesday. Dexter Fowler and Kyle Schwarber led the Cubs offense, while Jake Arrieta yet again was untouchable. The Cubs ace won’t be on the hill, though, to start the series, and he likely won’t be seen till Game 4, assuming one is necessary. Taking the hill for the Cubbies though, will be the wily veteran in Jon Lester. The former Red Sox starter has already captured 2 World Series, and was lights out for the Sox over the years.
The Cardinals will counter with Jon Lester’s former teammate John Lackey. Like his foe, John Lackey has captured two World Series rings, and was a vital part of those championships teams, more notably with the Red Sox. St. Louis has the slight advantage of having their full rotation ready to operate, but they’re also going to be missing standout RHP Carlos Martinez. St. Louis will have Yadier Molina back and ready to go, and the deadly Adam Wainwright will be coming out of the pen to help the Cards.
This is going to be an all-out war. St. Louis has been here a lot lately, but they’ve never faced a team quite like the Cubs. As a matter of fact, it’s the first time the two teams have met in the playoffs. This rivalry needs a new chapter, and a new one is almost certainly going to be written after this series concludes.
Here is the projected lineups for both teams:
- Fowler 1. Carpenter
- Schwarber 2. Piscotty
- Bryant 3. Holliday
- Rizzo 4. Heyward
- Castro 5. Peralta
- Coghlan 6. Grichuk
- Russell 7. Molina
- Ross 8. Wong
- Lester 9. Lackey