The Chicago Cubs now head to London, England, taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in a two-game set at London Stadium on Saturday and Sunday. Originally scheduled to happen in 2020, the series has been rescheduled multiple times. This will be the second time MLB regular season games have been played in England. In 2019, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played two games at London Stadium. Those two games saw a combined 50 runs scored. The equally important longtime division rivals now take their rivalry across the pond to England. Cubs-Cards is widely regarded as one of the best rivalries in sports and it will now be seen on a global stage.
In just 18 days, MLB has transformed London Stadium into a state-of-the-art ballpark for its second-ever London Series ??
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 22, 2023
The Cubs currently sit at 36-38, third in the NL Central. They are 3 1/2 games back of the division lead and five games out of a wild card spot. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 31-44, last in the NL Central. They are nine games back of the division lead and 10 1/2 games out in the Wild Card race. Furthermore, both teams have participated in MLB international games previously. Each team has a 1-1 record in those prior games. These two games in London will be the third and fourth MLB regular season games to take place in Europe. As of this moment, no matchup for a 2024 London Series has been announced.
Cubs “Own” Division Opponent
The Cubs currently own the Pittsburgh Pirates after sweeping them once again. In the last two weeks, the Cubs have swept the Pirates twice. Drew Smyly and Marcus Stroman led the Cubs to shutout victories in the first two games of the series. Smyly is now 7-4 on the season with a 3.38 ERA in 15 outings. Stroman now has a 9-4 record in 16 starts with a 2.28 ERA, the best mark in the NL. In addition, Stroman now has seven consecutive quality starts. Adbert Alzolay, with a 1.91 ERA along with a 0.848 WHIP on the season has gone nine consecutive games without allowing a run, a career high. Alzolay has become the Cubs’ de facto closer during this run.
Pitching has not been the only area of success for the Cubs during this streak. Over the last nine games, the team has scored 64 runs. Nico Hoerner hit an opposite-field home run on Wednesday, the first time he’s done so in the majors. Hoerner has a .327 batting average since June 9. Even with Dansby Swanson sidelined due to injury, the Cubs were able to score 20 runs during the three-game series in Pittsburgh. In the month of June, Christopher Morel leads the team in home runs with four. Morel is tied with Ian Happ for the most RBI on the team in June with 13. Tucker Barnhart also hit his first home run with the team on Tuesday and now has five RBI.
After The Chicago Cubs Head To London
Upon the conclusion of the London Series the Cubs will have Monday off. They will then host the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Guardians at Wrigley Field. After that, the Cubs will be on the road until the All-Star break, which starts on July 10. Returning from the All-Star break on July 14, the team will play only four games outside of Chicago between then and August 6. All of the Cubs’ games against the Cardinals this season will take place between now and the end of July. This is the result of the new balanced scheduling formula, which reduces division games to 10 head-to-head matchups each.
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