wrigley stands crowdThe Cubs have won three straight games (sweeping the Pirates), after dropping the final game of the Nationals series, and are staying at Wrigley Field for a three game matchup against the Cardinals.

Beginning tonight, John Lackey takes the mound for the Cubs in game 1, and looks to dominate his former team, once again. In the two times he’s faced them this season, Lackey has allowed just 3 earned runs on 8 hits and two walks against 20 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Opposing Lackey is lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia has actually been slightly better against righties throughout his career, but he’ll face a swath of them tonight, the most exciting of which is catcher Willson Contreras. Joe Maddon might have taken some time to get him his first start (though the circumstances mostly dictated that), but had no fear sliding him into the heart of the order, right after Anthony Rizzo. Although he may have some things to work on behind the plate, Contreras has had a hot bat lately, and is expected to do mostly fine against Major League pitching.

This one of the most anticipated games in a few weeks, for me, and I can’t wait to see how Contreras looks behind the plate. Remember, one thing to look out for tonight is the pace and consistency of his pitch calling. With the veteran Lackey helping him through the game, I suspect things will go just fine.

Four in a row would be neat.



Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (35-33) at Chicago Cubs (47-20), 7:05 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: John Lackey (R): 2.66 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 3.43 xFIP; 4.33 K/BB

versus

Cardinals: Jaime Garcia (L): 3.93 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 3.58 xFIP; 2.52 K/BB



St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:

1. Matt Carpenter, 2B

2. Aledmys Diaz, SS

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Stephen Piscotty, RF

4. Jhonny Peralta, 3B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Brandon Moss, 1B

7. Kolton Wong, CF

9. Jaime Garcia, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Ben Zobrist, 2B

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Willson Contreras, C

6. Javy Baez, 3B

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Albert Almora Jr., CF

9. John Lackey, P


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