Chicago Cubs (57-50, first in the NL Central) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (57-50, second in the NL Central)
St. Louis; Thursday, 7:15 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Cubs: Jon Lester (9-6, 3.63 ERA) Cardinals: Jack Flaherty (4-6, 4.17 ERA)
LINE: Cardinals favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: NL Central opponents St. Louis and Chicago will face off at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals are 25-20 against the rest of their division. The St. Louis pitching staff has a team ERA of 4.08, Dakota Hudson paces the staff with a mark of 3.88.
The Cubs have gone 22-20 against division opponents. Chicago has slugged .446, good for fourth in the National League. Willson Contreras leads the club with a .542 slugging percentage, including 35 extra-base hits and 19 home runs. The Cubs won the last meeting 2-0. Kyle Hendricks notched his eighth victory and Javier Baez went 1-for-4 with a double for Chicago. Miles Mikolas took his 11th loss for St. Louis.
TOP PERFORMERS: Paul Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals with 104 hits and has 58 RBIs. Paul DeJong is 7-for-35 with four doubles, three home runs and six RBIs over the last 10 games for St. Louis.
Baez leads the Cubs with 56 extra base hits and is batting .285. Kyle Schwarber is 5-for-32 with three home runs and eight RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cardinals: 7-3, .242 batting average, 3.76 ERA, outscored opponents by four runs
Cubs: 4-6, .214 batting average, 3.39 ERA, outscored opponents by three runs
Cardinals Injuries: Jordan Hicks: 60-day IL (elbow), Tony Cingrani: 60-day IL (shoulder), Brett Cecil: 60-day IL (wrist/forearm), Marcell Ozuna: 10-day IL (hand), Matt Carpenter: 10-day IL (foot), Yadier Molina: 10-day IL (thumb).
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: 60-day IL (hand), Pedro Strop: 10-day IL (neck), Brandon Morrow: 60-day IL (elbow), Cole Hamels: 10-day IL (oblique), Kendall Graveman: 60-day IL (elbow), Xavier Cedeno: 60-day IL (wrist), Daniel Descalso: 10-day IL (ankle).