wrigley right field bleachersThe Chicago Cubs are up to seven straight wins, including back-to-back series sweeps of the Athletics and the Marlins.

Now, after returning home from Oakland, they’ll turn their attention to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for another two-game set.

The first time these two teams met this season was the very first series of the year. Interestingly, seven of the eight position players that started in that game are starting tonight, with one notable exception: Kyle Schwarber.

It’s been a long season without Schwarber, but you can’t argue with the results of his replacement, Willson Contreras. Not only is Contreras another young, talented, exciting player, he, too, shifts back and forth between left field and catcher. I’m not saying there was no fun lost without Schwarber, but it isn’t hard to squint and see a very similar team anyway.

Taking the ball for the Cubs tonight is John Lackey and he’ll pitch to the aforementioned Contreras. Lackey’s last time out was the wild, 9th inning, three-run, wild-pitch, walk-off game, but before all of that, Lackey pitched quite well. Over seven innings, he surrendered 3 earned runs on 7 hits, no walks, and 8 strikeouts.

Opposing Lackey for the Angels is right hander Jered Weaver. Weaver, 33, had some truly excellent seasons back in 2009-2012, but those days are in the past. This season, he has a 5.11 ERA, with an even worse 5.42 FIP. He rarely strikes anyone out (12.1%), although he doesn’t walk many either (6.2%). But, having said that, you can pretty much expect Ben Zobrist to strike out five times and Javy Baez to take a pinch hit walk, because #baseball.

First pitch is at 7:05.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (69-41) at Los Angeles Angels (49-62), 7:05 CT on WGN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.70 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 3.74 xFIP; 3.54 K/BB

versus

Angels: Jered Weaver (R): 5.11 ERA, 5.42 FIP, 5.72 xFIP; 1.94 K/BB



Los Angeles Angels Lineup:

  1. Yunel Escobar, 3B
  2. Kole Calhoun, RF
  3. Mike Trout, CF
  4. Albert Pujols, 1B
  5. Andrelton Simmons, SS
  6. Ji-Man Choi, LF
  7. Jett Bandy, C
  8. Jered Weaver, P
  9. Cliff Pennington, 2B

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Jorge Soler, LF
  6. Jason Heyward, RF
  7. Addison Russell, SS
  8. Willson Contreras, C
  9. John Lackey, P

Keep Reading BN ...

« | »