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Wind: ENE 17
Chicago Cubs (66-94) at St. Louis Cardinals (95-65)
Saturday, September 28 - 4:15 PM EST
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
With their first National League Central crown since 2009 finally secured, the St. Louis Cardinals turn their attention toward trying to nail down the best record in the NL. The Cardinals head into Saturday's game against the visiting Chicago Cubs tied with Atlanta in the race for home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. St. Louis needs to finish a game clear of Atlanta, though, as the Braves hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
St. Louis clinched the division title with a 7-0 victory Friday, also securing the season series, which the Cardinals lead 10-7. The Cubs have lost four of their last five and will finish with the second-worst record in the NL. Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter needs one hit to become the first St. Louis player with 200 in a season since Albert Pujols in 2003.
TV: 4:15 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Edwin Jackson (8-17, 4.74 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (18-9, 3.01)
Jackson has set a career high for losses, dropping his last two starts and six of his last seven decisions. The 30-year-old has only one win since July 31, but did record a quality start last time out, allowing three runs over six innings in a loss to Atlanta. Jackson is 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) against St. Louis, including a 1-2 mark in four meetings this season.
Wainwright has won two straight starts and three consecutive decisions. The 32-year-old held Washington to three runs over seven innings last time out to notch his fourth consecutive quality start. Wainwright is 7-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 30 games (21 starts) against the Cubs and has gone 1-1 in three meetings this year.
1. Cardinals OF Jon Jay is riding a 12-game hitting streak, matching the longest of his career.
2. Cubs SS Starlin Castro recorded his first three-hit game since Aug. 11 on Friday. Castro is 7-for-22 with a double and a triple versus Wainwright.
3. St. Louis 1B/OF Allen Craig (sprained foot) is listed as doubtful for the National League Division Series. Craig leads the team with 97 RBIs despite not playing since Sept. 4.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Cubs 1