Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

at&t parkSo, it didn’t happen for the Cubs last night, but they’ll get two more shots at clinching, if necessary, starting tonight.

At 7:30pm CT, Dexter Fowler and the Cubs will step up to the plate against another Giants’ lefty in Matt Moore. I took a relatively deep dive on Moore’s history, season, and time with the Giants earlier today, so if you’re looking for some background on him, that’s where to start.

Otherwise, all there is to know is that he absolutely dominated the Dodgers and Rockies in his last two starts of the season. In 15.2 IP, Moore allowed just two earned runs on 9 hits and two walks against 17 strikeouts. He did benefit from an 81.8% strand rate, but with that many strikeouts in such a small sample, he may have earned it. But don’t get too concerned, because he struggled MIGHTILY in the four starts that preceded them. Lasting just another 15.2 IP (despite two additional starts), Moore allowed 16 earned runs on 27 hits and 9 walks, against 16 strikeouts. If he ultimately lands somewhere between those two performances, I think the Cubs’ offense should be just fine.

But in case they’re not, John Lackey will take the mound to hopefully shut things down. Lackey is making his first start since his last of the regular season against the Pirates. In that game, he allowed just one earned run on five hits and three walks, but went just five innings in the process (his final start of the year was artificially limited). Overall, he had a nice month of September (after returning from the disabled list) and appears to be healthy and ready to go.

Despite what you might feel or think about Lackey’s personality on the field, this is precisely the type of moment for which you want him on your team.

The Cubs still have the advantage, but I’d prefer they returned to Chicago alone.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants (CHI Leads 2-1) – 7:30 CT on FS1, 670 The Score, ESPN Radio

Game Thread and Series Preview

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

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.35 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 3.80 xFIP; 3.40 K/BB


Giants: Matt Moore (L): 4.08 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 4.56 xFIP; 2.47 K/BB

San Francisco Giants:

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Brandon Belt, 1B
  3. Buster Posey, C
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Brandon Crawford, SS
  6. Connor Gillaspie, 3B
  7. Joe Panik, 2B
  8. Gregor Blanco, LF
  9. Matt Moore, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

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

Keep Reading BN ...

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