The Chicago Cubs return from a seven-game West Coast road trip to host the rival St. Louis Cardinals on Friday at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs (35-27, first in NL Central) went 3-4 against the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. Chicago lost another player to the ten-day injured list in the series with starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay (finger). The Cubs will turn to Kohl Stewart to replace Alzolay in the rotation for the series opener against St. Louis and push Kyle Hendricks' start to Saturday.
The Cardinals (32-30, third in NL Central) had lost six straight before an 8-2 home win against Cleveland on Wednesday. Tyler O'Neill hit two home runs, and Adam Wainwright gave up two runs on three hits in seven innings.
The Cardinals are three games back of the Cubs, who are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central. St. Louis has an identical home/road split at 16-15, while the Cubs have played better at home (21-10) than on the road (14-17).
The Cubs will be able to host a 100-percent capacity crowd at Wrigley Field for the first time since a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals on September 22, 2019. Chicago lost six straight at home -- including two in extra innings -- at the end of the 2019 season.
The Cubs will also debut their Nike "City Connect" uniforms during the series on Saturday. The uniforms have Wrigleyville across the chest in white text on a dark blue jersey with numbers in light blue.
The Cubs won the first three-game set this season against the Cardinals in St. Louis, 2-1. Chicago won 12-3 in the opener then fell 2-1, but won the set with a 2-1 victory in ten innings. Javier Baez hit a two-run home run off Alex Reyes in the tenth to break the deadlock, and Craig Kimbrel recorded the final outs for the win.
Cardinals: Kodi Whitley (undisclosed), Miles Mikolas (forearm), Kwang Hyun Kim (back), Dakota Hudson (right elbow), Jordan Hicks (elbow), Jack Flaherty (side), Justin Williams (neck), Harrison Bader (rib), Max Moroff (shoulder).
Cubs: Trevor Williams (appendix), Rowan Wick (oblique), Justin Steele (hamstring), Jonathan Holder (shoulder), Adbert Alzolay (finger), Nico Hoerner (hamstring), Matt Duffy (back), David Bote (shoulder), Javier Baez (thumb), Austin Romine (left wrist).
Friday:Kohl Stewart, RHP (1-1, 3.12 ERA, 1.50 ERA) vs. Johan Oviedo, RHP (0-2, 5.25 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
Saturday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7-4, 4.59 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) vs. John Gant, RHP (4-3, 2.63 ERA, 1.59 WHIP)
Sunday: Zach Davies, RHP (3-3, 4.45 ERA, 1.57 WHIP) vs. Carlos Martinez, RHP (3-6, 6.21 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
How to Watch
Friday: 1:20 P.M., Marquee Sports Network, ESPN+, MLBN (out-of-market only)
Saturday: 6:15 P.M., FOX
Sunday: 6 P.M., ESPN
All times Central