Cardinals season now rests on the shoulders of Lackey

Oct 13, 2015 3:01 AM

National League Division Series

Take 932 Chicago Cubs (Money Line) over St. Louis Cardinals

The Cubs can advance to the National League championship series with a victory over the Cardinals this afternoon in Chicago. John Lackey, who took Game 1 of the series for the Cards, will face Jason Hammel who will be making his first postseason appearance.

The Cubs (2-1) used a major league postseason record six home runs to seize command of their National League Division Series on Monday with an 8-6 victory. Anthony Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant all went deep as the offense chased starter Michael Wacha after 4.1 innings.

Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta improved to 2-0 in the postseason despite allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since a five inning stint during a May 16 loss to Cleveland.

Outside of Stephen Piscotty and Jason Heyward, the Cardinals offense has struggled. Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday are both hitting .167 and Jhonny Peralta is even worse at .091.

St. Louis season now rests on the shoulders of John Lackey, who will be making the start on three day’s rest. He’s started on short rest four times in his career, and twice in the postseason, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.15 ERA.

Taking the mound for the Cubs in Game 4 will be Jason Hammel (10-7, 3.74 ERA) who had a solid 1.16 WHIP and 172 strikeouts in 170.2 innings pitched. During the regular season, Hammel, who made three starts against the Cardinals going 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA, has a 5.97 career ERA against the Cardinals in seven starts.

The OVER is 8-2-1 in the last 11 series meetings and 7-1 in the Cubs last eight home playoff games.

Bob Harvey joins GamingToday bringing with him over 40 years of sports writing and radio broadcasting experience. Check out my blog at Bob Harvey SportsEmail: [email protected].