MLB Saturday: Cubs at Cardinals

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The Chicago Cubs are trying to end a century of futility by winning the World Series. At press time, they were off to a good start at 17-10. It looks like competition will be tough, however, in the National League Central. Chicago is tied for the division lead with the 18-11 St. Louis Cardinals.

Chicago has been hitting the ball extremely well this month – unusual, because April games at chilly Wrigley Field tend to go under. Not this year. The over is 9-6-1 on the North Side thanks to Chicago’s torrid batting; the Cubs lead the majors at 171 runs scored (6.33 per game), .375 OBP, and .827 OPS. The Cardinals are also scoring at a solid clip: 135 runs (4.66 per game) with a .374 OBP and a .789 OPS.

This will be the second game of a three-game set at the new Busch Stadium. Ted Lilly is scheduled to take the mound for Chicago; this has not been a good season for the southpaw at 6.46 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, numbers reminiscent of his awful 2005 season with Toronto.

The Cardinals counter with Kyle Lohse, whose once-promising career is being revived in St. Louis with a 2.36 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Those numbers are still abnormally low and prone to regression – especially versus the Cubs. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano (.897 OPS last year) was due back in the Chicago lineup on Thursday after missing two weeks with a calf injury. Soriano is 12-for-28 lifetime off Lohse with a pair of home runs.

Game time is 3:45 p.m. Eastern.

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