Cubs Vs. Cardinals Preview: Trade Rumors Cast Shadow On Series

May 15, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals first base coach Chris Maloney (37) celebrates after left fielder Matt Holliday (7) hit a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Chicago 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

The St. Louis Cardinals host the Chicago Cubs for a three-game series this weekend.

The St. Louis Cardinals (47-45) are fighting to stay in the National League playoff picture every time they take the field, but the same is not true for the Chicago Cubs (38-53). With the fourth-worst record in the NL and a farm system in desperate need of pitching talent, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is open to trading anyone. The biggest name on the trade block is Ryan Dempster, who is slated to start on Friday night but could easily be dealt before that time.

The Cubs reportedly have a Triple-A pitcher ready to step in if Dempster is dealt before game time, so the pitching matchup could change at any moment. In any case, the Cardinals plan to start Kyle Lohse on their end.

TV: FOX Sports Midwest

Game Time: 7:15 p.m. CT

Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

For more on the Cardinals stick with SB Nation St. Louis or head over to Viva El Birdos. Cubs news and analysis is available at Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.

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