Cubs Look to Seal Division Title vs. Cardinals Tuesday

on Sep26

26 September 2017 | 5:46 pm

The Chicago Cubs have their destiny in their own hands on Tuesday night as they’ll send Jake Arrieta to the mound against the St. Louis Cardinals.

If the Cubs can win Tuesday’s game, they will clinch their second straight Central Division title and punch their ticket into the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

The first feat is one the Cubs have only achieved once, winning the Central in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008. The latter feat is one that the Cubs haven’t achieved in over a century, last reaching the playoffs in three straight years from 1906-1908.

Even with that kind of history on the line, the Cubs will be focused on the immediate task at hand, as they look to continue their recent run of dominant play against the Cardinals. This season the Cubs are a staggering 12-4 against their long-time rivals, and they continued that dominance again with a blowout win on Monday that knocked St. Louis out of the Central Division race.

Now the Cubs will send their ace to the mound as they look to finish off the Brewers, as Arrieta will take the hill for the second time since returning from a strained hamstring he suffered in a game earlier this month. Arrieta, who has an ERA of 1.97 and a 6-2 record since the All-Star break, has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and he will look to continue that run of dominance for the Cubs on Tuesday night.

Speaking of dominance, Kris Bryant is also looking to continue making noise after cracking a home run against the Cardinals on Monday. The home run helped him bump his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) to 6.8 on the season, giving him the highest total among National League position players.

Bryant has scored 110 runs and has hit 29 home runs in the season after winning the National League MVP award in 2016, and he’s looking to keep his hot hitting going as a likely playoff berth approaches for the Cubs.

As for St. Louis, they will be battling to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive. They currently trail the Colorado Rockies by two and a half games for the second National League wild card spot, and although the odds are stacked against them, they do face off against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend, as the Brewers sit a game ahead of them in the wild card race.

Carlos Martinez will be on the hill for the Cardinals, trying to improve on his 12-11 record and 3.63 ERA in 31 starts this season. Martinez currently leads the Cardinals with 211 strikeouts this season, and he’ll look to take advantage of a Cubs lineup that can be susceptible to the punch-out.

First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will air nationally on ESPN and locally on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. 

Published 48 minutes ago

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