The St. Louis Cardinals are rolling along in the standings, but two of their studs are limping toward the All-Star break. The National League Central-leading Cardinals will vie for their seventh win in eight outings on Saturday, when they play the third contest of their four-game set against the host Chicago Cubs. All-Star Carlos Beltran fell a home run shy of the cycle while also scoring and driving in a run as St. Louis posted a 3-2 triumph over Chicago on Friday.
While Matt Holliday was reduced to a spectator as he nurses a right hamstring injury, All-Star catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitless drought to 16 at-bats as he deals with inflammation in his right knee. St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn will look to match teammate Adam Wainwright and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann with a National League-best 12th victory when he takes the mound on Saturday. Matt Garza, who is the subject of trade speculation, will provide the opposition as Chicago bids for its sixth win in eight outings.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22)
Lynn improved to 5-1 lifetime against the Cubs after permitting one run on three hits in six innings of a 6-1 triumph on June 20. The 26-year-old authored two less-than-stellar outings after that before handcuffing Miami in his last trip to the mound. Lynn, who has allowed just five homers this season, has kept the ball in the park in his last three outings.
Garza has yielded just one earned run in each of his last four starts - all victories. The 29-year-old did not issue a walk for just the second time in 10 outings this season. Garza owns a 2-1 career mark with a 4.22 ERA versus St. Louis.
1. Chicago SS Starlin Castro, who homered on Friday, is 5-for-19 with a double and a triple in his career versus Lynn.
2. Beltran has feasted on Cubs pitching this season (12-for-29) but is 0-for-7 lifetime against Garza.
3. Chicago OF Alfonso Soriano is batting .438 in his last 12 contests against right-handers. He also has fared well versus Lynn, going 6-for-19 in his career.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 3, Cubs 1