wrigley stands crowdLast night was Social Media night at Wrigley Field, but it’s Big Ten Night tonight and the Cubs have a chance to sweep the Reds.

John Lackey takes the ball for Chicago, in what will be his fourth start since returning from the disabled list on September 4. He lasted 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0 innings in each of his three previous starts, so that means 8.0 innings tonight! Since returning, Lackey has had both good and mediocre starts, but has – most importantly – looked healthy and felt good. He’s your probable fourth (and final) starter for the playoffs, so you’ll want him with his best stuff. Tonight, he’ll pitch to Miguel Montero.

Opposing Lackey and the Cubs is righty Robert Stephenson. Stephenson, 23, made his Major League debut earlier this year, and has made just five MLB starts total in his career. Although he’s been a notable prospect for quite some time, so far, the results haven’t quite been there in the big leagues (4.97 ERA), and there’s been nothing under the surface to inspire confidence (6.21 FIP). Lefties and righties have both crushed Stephenson this season (in an admittedly small sample size), but the Cubs are loading up with southpaws anyway.

And maybe that’s a good thing:

First pitch is at 7:05. Let’s see if the Cubs can match last season’s win total with 10 games left to play.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (96-55) at Cincinnati Reds (63-88) – 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 and into the early evening.



The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.42 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 3.77 xFIP; 3.53 K/BB

versus

Reds: Robert Stephenson (R): 4.97 ERA, 6.22 FIP, 5.33 xFIP; 1.91 K/BB



Cincinnati Reds Lineup:

  1. Jose Peraza, SS
  2. Eugenio Suarez, 3B
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Adam Duvall, LF
  5. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  6. Scott Schebler, CF
  7. Steve Selsky, RF
  8. Tucker Barnhart, C
  9. Robert Stephenson, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Jason Heyward, RF
  6. Javy Baez, SS
  7. Miguel Montero, C
  8. Chris Coghlan, LF
  9. John Lackey, P



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