The St. Louis Cardinals vs Chicago Cubs have never happened in the MLB postseason. Never! Once the series set this heated rivalry, television executives and fans alike were all salivating over the prospects of watching the National League version of the Boston Red Sox vs the New York Yankees. No one should be disappointed at this point. Both teams are tied one apiece in the best of five series. The only place where fans should be upset is Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Pirates were blanked for the second wildcard game in the last two seasons. Now the Pirates and their fans are stuck watching the Cardinals vs Cubs series. This series may officially be over after the Cubs won 6-3 on Saturday.
Who has the advantage in the Cardinals vs Cubs series?
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale already considers the Cardinals vs Cubs, 2-1 with the Cubs on top.
Jake Arrieta, also known as the most unhittable pitcher, takes the mound as the Cardinals vs Cubs series resumes on Monday.
It is easy to say advantage Chicago Cubs. Do the Cubs truly have the edge over the Cardinals?
Jake Arrieta has only given up four earned runs since August 1. No one has really threatened to make him sweat out a start in quite some time. The idea of Arrieta pitching in front the Wrigley Field crowd for the first time since September 27th is more than enough reason to tune into Cardinals vs Cubs.
Arrieta pitched to a 22-6 record, with a 1.77 ERA.
Would you like an interesting statistic?
In the Cardinals vs. Cubs games that Jake Arrieta has pitched, both teams have two wins and two loses. Seven of Arrieta’s 45 earned runs this season have come against the Cardinals.
Before anyone jumps to the foregone conclusion that the Cardinals vs Cubs series will be 2-1 in favor of the Cubs, keep in mind that St. Louis has accounted for over 15 percent of the earned runs scored on Jake Arrieta.
That will give some St. Louis Cardinals fans hope. Unfortunately, Arrieta’s last start against the Cardinals came on July 7.
That was before the All-Star break and before his hot streak started.
The Cardinals vs Cubs series is a classic matchup with a veteran-laden team facing a young, upstart.
In terms of playoff appearances, most of the Cardinals’ veterans have playoff experience. A few of them even have World Series rings. This includes pitchers Adam Wainwright and John Lackey, and outfielders Matt Holiday and John Jay.
In the middle of it all, quietly running the show is catcher Yadier Molina. Molina has two World Series rings and is a surefire Hall of Fame player at this point.
After the game, it was Adam Wainwright serving as the voice of reason with St. Louis Today.
“We’ve been through this playoff thing enough to know you cannot let one loss get you down. They played a great game. They pushed runners across when they needed to. They did that more than we did. Of course we would rather be 2-0 right now. But 1-1 is not the end of the world.”
As for the Cubs, Jon Lester is the only player of significance with a championship under his belt.
With the Cardinals vs Cubs series tied, all of the momentum has shifted to the team historically known as the lovable losers. Even in St. Louis is there some angst. The Cardinals ran away with the division during the regular season, yet these two teams are just about neck and neck.
Actually, the Cubs are playing the best baseball during an amazing stretch. They are 43-19 since August 1, including the playoffs. The Cardinals have gone 36-24. With the Cubs peaking at just the right time, the upstart might find themselves advancing past their hated rivals.
This would change the course of the Cardinals vs Cubs rivalry for years to come.
Since the turn of the century, St. Louis has gotten the better of the Cardinals vs Cubs meetings. Even if in certain years where the Cubs made the playoffs, but the Cardinals did not, or they both played in October, St. Louis has two championships. The Cubs have not made it out of the NLDS. Since the Cubs do have Jake Arrieta pitching on Monday, they have a chance to go up 2-1 in the series. With a possibility of an elimination game on Tuesday, the Cardinals vs Cubs series would take a dramatic turn. The Cardinals have won many of the recent battles between the two teams, but whomever wins this playoff series might win the psychological war.
The Cardinals vs Cubs have come down to what takes place on Monday. And the Cubs can forever change their fate.
[Feature photo by Pool/Getty Images Sport]