Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley outfieldMaybe I’m just being dramatic – easy to do after the last 9 days of Cubs games – but today feels like a pretty huge swing game, doesn’t it?

If the Cubs lose, it makes five of six to the two worst teams in the NL, and the Cubs are in something of a death spiral as the Giants and Mets blaze past them in the Wild Card race.

If the Cubs win, they recovered from a horrible series against the Phillies, and won their series against the Rockies (which is all you can really ever expect, even against a bad team).

Those are just stories we tell ourselves, but sometimes they seem to ring more true than others. Today’s game feels like one of those times. Godspeed, Jon Lester.

As for the Cubs’ lineup, discussed earlier here, two righties are getting the day off – Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler – which seems like a good idea for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it’s a day game after a night game, it’s one of many in a long stretch for the Cubs without an off-day (next isn’t until August 10), and Rockies starter Eddie Butler is giving up absurd numbers to lefties this year.

Also on Butler: I sure hope he doesn’t shut the Cubs down. Yes, he’s young with upside, but he might be, statistically, the worst starting pitcher the Cubs have faced yet this year. You cannot waste those opportunities, especially with Lester on the mound.

Hmm … where have I heard that before?

New Rockie Jose Reyes makes his debut at shortstop in this one.

Game Info

Colorado Rockies (43-55) at Chicago Cubs (52-47), 1:20 CT on WGN-9 (or your local affiliate), MLBN and

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Eddie Butler (4.77 ERA, 5.36 FIP, 5.08 xFIP; 0.97 K/BB)


Jon Lester (3.32 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 3.10 xFIP; 3.94 K/BB)

Colorado Rockies Lineup

1. Charlie Blackmon, CF

2. Jose Reyes, SS

3. Nolan Arenado, 3B

4. Carlos Gonzalez, RF

5. D.J. LeMahieu, 2B

6. Drew Stubbs, LF

7. Ben Paulsen, 1B

8. Nick Hundley, C

9. Eddie Butler, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Kyle Schwarber, LF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Chris Coghlan, RF

6. Addison Russell, SS

7. David Ross, C

8. Jon Lester, P

9. Jonathan Herrera, 2B

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