Short Series Preview for a Short Series:

The Cardinals are good. The Cubs are not. Here's a look at the matchups for this quick series in St. Louis

Monday: Ryan Dempster, RHP (1.02, 2.16, 2.80, 3.83) vs Jake Westbrook, RHP (1.76, 2.79, 3.20, 4.00), 6:05 PM CT

This is a matchup of pitchers who have gotten off to fantastic starts to the year. You have to give the edge to Westbrook though, his 4-2 record says that he just wants to win more than Dempster (0-1). Dempster's had a lot of help from BABIP (.218) and HR luck (3.8% HR/FB) but he's still pitching well enough to put up a 2.80 xFIP. He's going to make a lot of money this offseason. Westbrook has a similarly low FIP (and batted ball luck) but gets most of his outs via the ground ball. He's seen a small uptick in his strikeout rate but he's not that kind of power pitcher.

Tuesday: Paul Maholm, LHP (4.05, 5.17, 4.53, 4.10) vs Kyle Lohse, RHP (2.08, 3.33, 4.10, 3.90), 12:45 PM CT

Unlike rotation-mate Chris Volstad, Paul Maholm has managed to improve on his disastroust start to the season. After giving up 12 runs on 3 HR, 3 walks, and only 4 K (and not very many GB) Maholm finally started doing Paul Maholm things, namely, getting a shitton of ground balls. The Cubs have won his last four starts and not coincedentally he's tallied double digit grounders in each game, and only gave up 3 runs in those four starts.

It's hard to believe that this is Lohse's fifth year with the Cardinals. In my head he's still the fringy starter that he was with the Twins. It's been up and down with the Cards but for the most part he's yet another poster child for the Dave Duncan Transformation


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