Chicago hosts St. Louis, looks to build on Lester’s strong performance

Chicago hosts St. Louis, looks to build on Lester’s strong performance
It's scary that in a rotation featuring Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, 26-year-old Kyle Hendricks led Major League Baseball with a 2.13 ERA.

CHICAGO (AP) - St. Louis Cardinals (20-11, first in the NL Central) vs. Chicago Cubs (16-12, second in the NL Central)

Chicago; Friday, 2 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Cardinals: Jack Flaherty (3-1, 4.07 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 36 strikeouts) Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 5.33 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 24 strikeouts)

LINE: Cubs favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 6 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Cubs are 3-3 against the rest of their division. Chicago ranks seventh in the majors in hitting with a .258 batting average, Jason Heyward leads the team with an average of .329.

The Cardinals are 8-7 on the road. The St. Louis offense has compiled a .269 batting average as a team this season, good for first in the National League. Jose Martinez leads the team with a a mark of .375. This is the first game between these teams in 2019.

TOP PERFORMERS: Javier Baez leads the Cubs with 10 home runs and is slugging .653. Anthony Rizzo is 13-for-39 with five doubles, four home runs and nine RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.

Paul DeJong leads the Cardinals with 20 extra base hits and is slugging .590. Marcell Ozuna is 11-for-37 with four doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs over the last 10 games for St. Louis.

LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 7-3, .244 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 16 runs

Cardinals: 9-1, .293 batting average, 3.70 ERA, outscored opponents by 17 runs

Cubs Injuries: Brandon Morrow: 60-day IL (elbow), Mike Montgomery: 10-day IL (shoulder), Kendall Graveman: 60-day IL (elbow), Xavier Cedeno: 10-day IL (wrist), Tony Barnette: 10-day IL (shoulder), Victor Caratini: 10-day IL (hand).

Cardinals Injuries: Mike Mayers: 10-day IL (shoulder), Carlos Martinez: 10-day IL (shoulder), Luke Gregerson: 10-day IL (shoulder), Brett Cecil: 60-day IL (wrist/forearm), Justin Williams: 10-day IL (hand), Dexter Fowler: day-to-day (illness).

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