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Tonight, the Chicago Cubs take on their former NL Central foes in the Houston Astros.

It’s the first of a three game series throughout the weekend, with rather significant playoff implications … for the Astros, who remain 2.5 games out of the AL Wild Card.

The Cubs, on the other hand, have a magic number of just eight, with so many games to play.

Jon Lester will take the mound for the Cubs tonight (pitching to David Ross, as usual), after a brilliant start in San Francisco. If you recall, Lester carried a no-hitter well into the 7th inning (2 outs), before surrendering a solo home run to Hunter Pence. But the Cubs won the game nonetheless, and it was another great start in a string of great starts from Lester (1.35 ERA, 2.72 FIP through last 7 Gs).

Opposing Lester and the Cubs tonight is righty Joe Musgrove. Musgrove, 23, made his Major League debut earlier this season, but hasn’t quite been as good as he probably hoped (5.06 ERA through six starts). There hasn’t been much of a sample size from which to draw a significant conclusion, but lefties have hit Musgrove a bit better this year than righties. He’s a very beatable pitcher, and I’d love to see the Cubs offense go to work.

First pitch is at 7:10 CT, let’s shrink that Magic Number, eh?





Game Info

Chicago Cubs (89-50) at Houston Astros (74-66) – 7:10 CT on WGN-9, 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: Jon Lester (L): 2.61 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 3.57 xFIP; 3.49 K/BB

versus

Astros: Joe Musgrove (R): 5.06 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 3.80 xFIP; 4.38 K/BB



Houston Astros Lineup:

  1. George Springer, DH
  2. Alex Bregman, SS
  3. Jose Altuve, 2B
  4. Yulieski Gurriel, 3B
  5. Evan Gattis, C
  6. Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
  7. Colby Rasmus, LF
  8. Teoscar Hernandez, RF
  9. Jake Marisnick, CF

Pitcher: Joe Musgrove

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Jorge Soler, DH
  6. Addison Russell, SS
  7. Jason Heyward, RF
  8. David Ross, C
  9. Javy Baez, 3B

Pitcher: Jon Lester


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