CSN's Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki look ahead to the North Siders' matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals and White Sox and talk about the make-or-break ramifications of the week in the latest Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers.
The All-Star Break is approaching, but before the Cubs get a four-day vacation, they need to get past visits from the St. Louis Cardinals and White Sox.
The Cubs were just swept out of St. Louis two weekends ago, and they are struggling to get over the "mental hurdle" of playing the Cardinals.
The two teams square off for a four-game set in three days, including a doubleheader Tuesday. The Cubs offense just received a lift with Jorge Soler's return from the disabled list and they will trot out their three best pitchers against the Cardinals — Jon Lester (Monday), Jake Arrieta (Tuesday) and Jason Hammel (Wednesday).
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The Cubs then have an off day Thursday before the start of the Crosstown Cup Friday at Wrigley Field when the White Sox make the trip across Chicago.
Crosstown is back to six games again this year and the series always has a way of separating the two teams. In years past, the team that ends up on the winning side of the Crosstown Cup seems to use that momentum to propel them to a nice stretch while the losing team struggles to stay afloat.
Of course, this is also the latest Crosstown has ever started. Every other Cubs-Sox showdown has kicked off in May or June.