Can the Cubs continue their winning ways against their arch rivals in St. Louis? Or will the Cardinals remind us that the Cubs are who we thought they were? Find out in our series preview.

Probable Pitchers

Courtesy of MLB.com

Friday at 7:15pm CT – Ryan Dempster vs. Kyle Lohse

Dempster’s career-high scoreless innings streak is at 33, the most for a Cubs pitcher since Ken Holtzman in 1969. He hasn’t allowed a run since May 30, spanning five starts, and has lowered his ERA to 1.86. Lohse surrendered just two runs on eight hits in his last start, but the Cardinals lost and the right-hander was awarded a no-decision. He has gone at least five innings in every one of his 19 outings this season.

Saturday at 6:15pm CT – Matt Garza vs. Jake Westbrook

Garza is coming off a win over the D-backs in which he threw seven shutout innings. He’s fared much better at Wrigley, posting a 3-1 record and 2.12 ERA, compared to a 2-6 mark and 5.67 ERA in 10 road starts. Two eighth-inning runs left Westbrook to shoulder a loss in his last outing, which was otherwise a fairly strong outing. All four runs he allowed came with two outs, and Westbrook pitched into the eighth inning for just the second time this year.

Sunday at 1:15pm CT – Travis Wood vs. Lance Lynn

Wood’s four-game win streak was snapped in his last start, as the Fish roughed him up. The lefty gave up a career-high-tying eight runs in 4 2/3 innings, including two homers. He stopped throwing offspeed pitches, and can’t do that to be effective. Despite not picking up the win, Lynn was dominant in his last start. Pitching seven innings against the Brewers, Lynn struck out 10 and surrendered just one run while not allowing a walk for the first time this season.

Our Take

These next few series will be a good test for the surging Cubs. It’s one thing to beat the Diamondbacks and the Marlins. It’s another thing to stay hot on the road against the leaders in your division.

The Cardinals have come back to earth a bit after rocketing off to a great start, but they’re still a potent team, and they stack up well against the Cubs. I’m confident they can be beaten by this Cubs team–I just don’t know if we’ll show the patience and discipline to get the job done.

This will be Anthony Rizzo’s first taste of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. And even if it’s a less-vicious feud than some other big league rivalries, it will be interesting to see how he’s greeted by Jeans Shorts Nation the Cardinals faithful.

Here’s hoping he makes a big impression early, and that the Cubs can keep rolling up series victories on their road to the playoffs mediocrity.

Series Prediction: I’m hoping for 2-1, but expecting 1-2.

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