Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

san diego padres logo featureBack to baseball tonight after a long, long interlude. With an off-day sandwiched by a day game then a West Coast night game, that wait was pretty much as long as it gets in-season. Following a loss, it was torturous.

We’re Going Streaking

Despite that loss, the Cubs are winners of 6 of 7. Plus, that loss didn’t really feel all that bad for whatever reason. The Cubs are 3.5 games out in the NL Central, and a few games better than …

The Padres, who are now a game under .500 after being swept by the Nationals. They’ve lost five of their last seven.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Tuesday, May 19 at 9:10 CT on WGN-9 MLBN.
  • Wednesday, May 20 at 9:10 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, May 21 at 8:10 CT on CSN+, MLBN.

And, if you’re not in the blackout region, you can always watch on

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Jason Hammel (3.11 ERA, 3.36 FIP; 6.83 K/BB), Tsuyoshi Wada (2015 Debut), Kyle Hendricks (5.15 ERA, 3.91 FIP; 3.33 K/BB)


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Starlin Castro, SS
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Jorge Soler, RF
  7. Chris Coghlan, LF
  8. Pitcher
  9. Addison Russell, 2B


Starters: James Shields (3.91 ERA, 4.84 FIP; 4.27 K/BB), Tyson Ross (3.94 ERA, 3.41 FIP; 2.08 K/BB), TBA


  1. Wil Myers, CF
  2. Derek Norris, C
  3. Matt Kemp, RF
  4. Justin Upton, LF
  5. Yangervis Solarte, 1B
  6. Corey Spangenberg, 3B
  7. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
  8. Alexei Amarista, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Assuming the Welington Castillo trade goes through as reported, this series will be the Cubs’ first on the year with just two catchers on the roster. We’ll see who takes Castillo’s place, though we do know that Junior Lake is coming up, together with Tsuyoshi Wada, replacing Phil Coke and Brian Schlitter.

Speaking of Wada, Wednesday will be his 2015 debut. Six strong innings, please, and I’ll be plenty happy.

Starlin Castro line check: .273/.308/.353. He is really scuffling this year offensively. Not getting a lot of attention because of the great stories around him, though, and maybe that’s for the best.

On the downside, the Cubs have to face James Shields and Tyson Ross again. On the upside, the Cubs got to see them once already this year, and made each of them work. At a minimum, I’m guessing Shields doesn’t so easily abuse Kris Bryant with his changeup this time around.

The Padres’ efforts to bring in bats has been a success, with only Matt Kemp currently below average overall among the guys they brought in. Defensively, however, the outfield has been a disaster (as projected).

One of the Padres’ best holdovers has been Yonder Alonso, but he’s currently on the DL with a shoulder injury.

Wil Myers has been out for a little while with a wrist issue, but the hope is that he can return today against the Cubs.

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