Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pnc parkHere we go. Every game from here on out will have a great deal of significance, because the Cubs are in the playoff hunt and the season is growing short. But games like tonight’s – and the next six games – is especially important, because it can represent a two-game swing against a team with whom the Cubs could be competing directly for a playoff spot.

Adding to the drama tonight: Francisco Liriano has been very good with the Pirates, and this year is no exception. Jon Lester has been excellent for the Cubs, so this matchup is fantastic. In a playoff race. In August. On ESPN. There will be eyeballs on this this one.

Kris Bryant is back in the lineup, so he must be good to go. Hopefully the Cubs can be patient against Liriano, who can still get wild at times. The Pirates have an excellent bullpen, so the goal isn’t necessarily to get into it more quickly, but instead for the Cubs’ hitters to put themselves into good situations against Liriano.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (57-47) at Pittsburgh Pirates (61-43), 6:05 CT on CSN, ESPN 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

Jon Lester (3.26 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 2.97 xFIP; 4.25 K/BB)


Francisco Liriano (2.92 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 2.82 xFIP; 3.33 K/BB)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Gregory Polanco, RF

2. Starling Marte, LF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Jung-Ho Kang, SS

6. Francisco Cervelli, C

7. Michael Morse, 1B

8. Sean Rodriguez, 2B

9. Francisco Liriano, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Chris Denorfia, LF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Jorge Soler, RF

6. Starlin Castro, SS

7. David Ross, C

8. Jon Lester, P

9. Addison Russell, 2B

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