wrigley stands crowdThat’s two in a row for the Chicago Cubs over the feisty Pittsburgh Pirates, which means today is a chance at the sweep. The second sweep in as many series against the Pirates, too.

Jon Lester starts today for the Cubs, and he’s pitched exceedingly well against the Pirates for a whole bunch of starts in a row, dating back to midseason last year. It can be hard to dominate the same lineup over and over again, but, like Jake Arrieta, Lester has such a diverse repertoire and such a command of it that he can make it work even as guys see so much of him.

Hopefully he does it again today.

On the other side of the bump, the Cubs will face Gerrit Cole, a guy they, too, have seen regularly over the past couple years. Although they’ve never quite dismantled him, the Cubs have handled Cole well enough the last few times they’ve seen him. Still, he’s incredibly good, and one of these times, he will cruise. If and when that day comes, you just want to see the Cubs making him work a bit, and preventing him from going too deep into the game.



Game Info

Pittsburgh Pirates (18-17) at Chicago Cubs (27-8), 1:20 CT on CSN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 1.96 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 3.30 xFIP; 4.20 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Gerrit Cole: (R): 3.78 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 3.74 xFIP; 2.67 K/BB



Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jordy Mercer, SS

2. Andrew McCutchen, CF

3. David Freese, 1B

4. Starling Marte, LF

5. Francisco Cervelli, C

6. Jung-Ho Kang, 3B

7. Josh Harrison, 2B

8. Sean Rodriguez, RF

9. Gerrit Cole, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Addison Russell, SS

7. Javy Baez, 3B

8. David Ross, C

9. Jon Lester, P


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