Cincinnati.com
Major League Baseball
Preview
St. Louis at Chi. Cubs
When: 3:20 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2018
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Cubs will be playing beyond Sunday, but the final day of the regular season will determine their postseason fate. The Cubs are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers atop the National League Central, and Chicago’s regular-season finale against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals will help determine which team is the top seed in the NL playoffs and which is relegated to the wild-card game.



The Cubs’ narrow lead in the division dissipated with a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday coupled with Milwaukee’s 6-5 win over Detroit. If the Cubs and Brewers remain tied after Sunday, they would play a one-game tiebreaker Monday at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals were eliminated from the playoff race Saturday despite snapping their four-game losing streak. St. Louis has failed to make the postseason in three consecutive years for the first time since 1997-99.

TV: 3:20 p.m. ET, FS Midwest (St. Louis), NBCS Chicago



PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Jack Flaherty (8-8, 3.16 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Mike Montgomery (5-6, 3.99)

Flaherty is limping to the finish of what has otherwise been a strong rookie campaign. The 22-year-old is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in September, and the Cardinals have lost all five of his start this month. He has been terrific in two starts against the Cubs, allowing one run and four hits over 10 innings with 16 strikeouts.

Montgomery didn’t have it last time out in a loss to Pittsburgh, allowing five runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. The 29-year-old has pitched past the fifth frame only once in his last five starts, posting a whopping 5.64 ERA over that span. Montgomery is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 11 career games (two starts) against the Cardinals.



WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago 2B Daniel Murphy is 15-for-39 during a nine-game hitting streak, his longest since joining the Cubs.

2. Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna is 9-for-20 during a five-game hitting streak against the Cubs.

3. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has reached base in each of his last 13 games against the Cardinals.



PREDICTION: Cubs 5, Cardinals 4


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
St. Louis 88-73 W1 43-38 45-35 16-16 41-34 20-14 11-9
Chi. Cubs 94-67 L1 50-30 44-37 22-11 40-35 19-14 13-7
Last Meeting
St. Louis Chi. Cubs
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/29/18 STL 2 CHC 1 .103 0 .316 .161 0 .323
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis M. Ozuna .324 23 .884
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .379 25 1.067
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Carpenter 8 13 19
Chi. Cubs J. Baez 5 12 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 4.31 .255 128
Chi. Cubs 4.32 .271 136
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis J. Martinez .303 161 .817
Chi. Cubs B. Zobrist .309 138 .821
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Carpenter 36 110 81
Chi. Cubs J. Baez 34 98 111
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 3.82 .249 1329
Chi. Cubs 3.65 .259 1317