Series Preview: Cubs v. Blue Jays, September 8 – September 10, 2014

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Series Preview: Cubs v. Blue Jays, September 8 – September 10, 2014

Chicago Cubs

toronto blue jays logoThe highs and lows of a baseball season, man. The Cubs went from ebullience to despondence – actually, I should say Cubs fans did that – in the span of just two series, sweeping the Brewers and being swept by the Pirates. In the process, the Cubs helped the Pirates pass the Brewers in the NL Central and for the second Wild Card spot, which is … something?

The games all start at 6:07pm CT for some reason, by the way. Canada.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs got swept by the Pirates. I already said that. Don’t make me say it again.

The Blue Jays, at four games over .500, are now 10 back in the AL East and 5 back in the Wild Card (behind four teams), so they might well be screwed, when it comes to the playoffs. I am reminded that they elected to do virtually nothing at the Trade Deadline. They’ve won six of eight.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, September 8 at 6:07 CT on WGN.
  • Tuesday, September 9 at 6:07 CT on CSN.
  • Wedesday, September 10 at 6:07 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Jacob Turner (3.14 ERA, 3.40 FIP; 3.00 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.81 ERA, 2.43 FIP; 3.66 K/BB), Kyle Hendricks (2.02 ERA, 3.38 FIP; 2.83 K/BB)


  1. Chris Coghlan, LF
  2. Javier Baez, SS
  3. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  4. Jorge Soler, RF/DH
  5. Welington Castillo, C
  6. Arismendy Alcantara, CF
  7. Mike Olt, 1B
  8. Various Dudes, DH/RF
  9. Logan Watkins, 2B

Blue Jays

Starters: Marcus Stroman (3.83 ERA, 3.00 FIP; 3.42 K/BB), Mark Buehrle (3.34 ERA, 3.69 FIP; 2.37 K/BB), Drew Hutchison (4.47 ERA, 3.83 FIP; 2.81 K/BB)


  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Jose Bautista, RF
  3. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
  4. Adam Lind, DH
  5. Dioner Navarro, C
  6. Danny Valencia, 3B
  7. Kevin Pillar, LF
  8. Ryan Goins, 2B
  9. Anthony Gose, CF

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

And from the three lefties to the three righties – with a six-man rotation, the Cubs have been flip-flopping their righties and lefties in their last couple three-game series. It’s kind of fun. Well, if you have a really low bar for fun. Which I do.

Mike Olt is coming off of one of his best games of the year, singling three times in three at bats, and adding a walk in his other plate appearance. One game does not a pattern make, and I’m going to be wary of putting too much stock into anything he does this month either way … but it sure would be nice to see him head into the offseason with a fantastic, low-strikeout September.

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion continue to be the Blue Jays’ big-time offensive pieces, with each sporting a wOBA near .400 and a wRC+ near 150. Studs.

Melky Cabrera has bounced back well from … things … to post a .301/.351/.458 line for the Blue Jays this year. He’s an interesting offseason talking point for teams: he only just turned 30, looks like a quality offensive player, is terrible defensively, and could possibly be attached to a qualifying offer.

It’ll be fun to get a look at Marcus Stroman, who was oft-discussed as a Cubs trade target (Drew Hutchison, too) before the Blue Jays figured out they could just insert him into the rotation and he’d be as good as anyone they could have picked up in trade for him.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.