If you’re going to any of the games at Wrigley this weekend you really need to stop as you go into the park and buy a program. I know that you think you don’t need one now that you are actually paying attention to the games again, and because you can just look up both team’s rosters on the Interwebs, but you’re going to need that program.

Why? Because you can roll it up, hold it close to your face and look through it, and maybe, just maybe, with it functioning as a half-assed telescope you’ll actually be able to see the Cardinals from where the Cubs are.

Last year on August 11 the Cubs were 8.5 games behind the Cardinals. Wow, what a big lead the Cardinals had. Well, things have changed a little bit. The Cubs have a 12 game lead this year. The Cardinals are 13 games behind in the loss column. The Cubs are baseball’s hottest team with nine straight wins.

A sweep by the Cardinals is improbable for a few reasons:

  • That would be seven wins in a row at Wrigley for them, and the Cubs are the best home team in the National League
  • The Cubs are playing good baseball again, which wasn’t the case when last the Cardinals showed up, but we hadn’t really realized it yet
  • The Cardinals aren’t very good

Anything short of a sweep by the Cardinals means they’ll leave town with a double-digit deficit and only five weeks to make it up. It’s not going to happen. The Cubs putting three or four losses on them however, could really jack up their playoff hopes. And that would be fun.

I’ll be rooting for the Cardinals to miss the playoffs, just because. But if they make it they’ll have to play in the Wild Card Game, where the winner will almost certainly have to come to Wrigley to start the NLDS. I wouldn’t mind the Cubs making a new October tradition out of beating the shit out of the Cardinals in the playoffs like last season.

The Cardinals finally put Michael Wacha out to pasture, and they’ve brought up their two best pitching prospects, Matt Bowman Luke Weaver and Alex Reyes. How nice for them.

They put Matt Adams on the DL (elevated cholesterol or something) and brought back the rightful 2015 Rookie of the Year, superstar Randall Grichuk.

They are going to prop Yadi up behind home plate for all four games.

You can file all of that into “too little, too late.”

The ship has sailed on the Cardinals little dynasty in the NL Central. The Cubs are younger, deeper, and just plain better. And that’s not going to change for a very long time.

By this time last year the Cubs had emerged as a better team than the Cardinals, though the standings never quite reflected it. They’re still better, and the standings certainly reflect that this year.

Hang onto your jorts, St. Louis. Settle in for another beating.

And this time when you get to the ninth, the Cubs have a guy who you haven’t scored on in five years.

Seriously. A Mike Matheny led team hasn’t scored off of Aroldis Chapman. Ever.