Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley outfieldIf you win a series – I don’t care who the opponent is, or what’s happening above you in the standings – you have to be happy about it.

That’s what the Cubs can do today with a win over the Reds. Jason Hammel is coming off of his best start in a while, and hopefully has righted the ship.

Javy Baez doesn’t start in this one, but there are a couple good reasons: (1) Reds starter Raisel Iglesias is brutally good against righties, and brutally bad against lefties; and (2) with such a huge bench, Joe Maddon will be able to make mid-game moves even more aggressively than he already has. In other words, the “starter” on a given day might be the starter for only half the game.

On point number one up there: nice to see the Cubs sending out six lefty bats at Iglesias today, including the first four batters he’ll face. I was typing that as the news about the Kyle Schwarber scratch came out. The lineup is slightly less palatable with righty Austin Jackson now in there instead of Schwarber. But, hey: at least the Cubs have Jackson now, eh?

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (75-56) at Cincinnati Reds (54-77), 1:20 CT on CSN 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

Raisel Iglesias (3.92 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 3.29 xFIP; 3.78 K/BB)


Jason Hammel (3.42 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 3.42 xFIP; 4.50 K/BB)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Jason Bourgeois, CF

2. Jay Bruce, RF

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Todd Frazier, 3B

6. Brayan Pena, C

7. Eugenio Suarez, SS

8. Skip Schumaker, LF

9. Raisel Iglesias, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, LF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Miguel Montero, C

6. Austin Jackson, RF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Jason Hammel, P

9. Tommy La Stella, 2B

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