St. Louis Cardinals: Looking at the rest of May

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 9
St. Louis Cardinals
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Dexter Fowler (25) walks back to the dugout as Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) and relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) celebrate after Folwer struck out to end the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. The Cubs won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs (Home)

Here is where the Cardinals start to roll the dice. You don’t expect a series in May to be that big of a factor, but this one against the Cubs is extremely important. Put aside what I have predicted the Cardinals to do, the fact remains that they sit a game and a half back against the Cubs. These are the series you have to win.

Having said that, let’s take a look at the pitching matchups:

Mike Leake vs. Brett Anderson

Michael Wacha vs. Jon Lester

Carlos Martinez vs. Jake Arrieta

Boy, these two teams match up well. With the way Leake has been pitching this year, you can put a safe bet that the Cardinals can/will take the first game. The next two games I’m not so sure about. Wacha has had some struggle lately with command, but so has Lester.

Both Lester and Wacha are capable of having a big game, but some one has to lose. Game two will likely come down to a bullpen battle. At this moment, I have more faith in the Cubs bullpen than I do the Cardinals. Hopefully, I am wrong.

Game three of the series is going to have every bit of a playoff feel to it in May. The Cubs best pitcher versus the Cardinals best pitcher. Unfortunately, Arrieta has dominated the Cardinals, most notably Matt Carpenter. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. If Martinez can have the same game as Opening Day, then I give the Cards a chance.

One thing to look for in this series is how the pitching staff handles Kris Bryant. Remember that to begin the season, Kris Bryant went 0-13 with 6 strike outs against the Cardinals. I’m not expecting that to be the case this time, but what a story it would be if the Cardinals continued to shut him down. If they can, the Cardinals might pull two games out of this series.

Another thing to keep an eye on will be whether or not Piscotty or Fowler (or anyone else by this point) will be on the disabled list or returning from it. Should Piscotty or Fowler land on the DL due to their removals from Thursday night’s game, then this series could be the first time that they can return. Will this play a factor?

Unfortunately, I think the Cubs will find a way to sneak two games out.

Cardinals May Record: 8-5