2019 Gameday Thread

Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Cubs vs. White Sox: Hamels vs. Nova (Game 72)

CHC (39-32): LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

CHW 3(34-36): RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA)

First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs return home to take on their cross-city rivals. They remain 0.5 games behind Milwaukee with the Cards lagging an additional two games behind the Cubs. Cole Hamels made his third start without an earned run, going seven innings with 9 strikeouts in Colorado last time out. Few White Sox have seen much of him. Jon Jay and his 13 at-bats are on the IL. Jose Abreu is 4-9 with a homerun off of him. Hamels has been a tremendous groundball pitcher this year, and the White Sox have the second highest GB% behind the Marlins--that may provide some incentive for Maddon to start his best defensive infield. The general impatience of the Sox lineup should play to Hamels' favor, although he seems to have harnessed his command of late.

Cubs @ Dodgers: Series Thread (Games 68-71)

Just as the Cubs acclimate to the atmosphere at Coors, they skip off to Cally for a four-game set against the dangerous Dodgers. Having pitched a gem in the stopper role on Wednesday, Hamels will take his place in the cheering section for this one, and the rest of the rotation will get a chance to show their stuff. Good news for them is that the first three of the series will be night games, which may help them keep the ball in the yard. Quintana will have to work his way through the Sunday afternoon game. The bad news for everyone is that the Dodgers feature the most productive offense without a DH (ahead of the Cubs, who are now second in the NL in wRC+). On the other side of the ball, the LA squad may have the best defense in all of baseball, and their pitching is near the top in the NL. With the Dodgers (45-23) leading the NL in wins, any match with them will look like a post-season preview, as long as the other team is contending. The Cubs (38-29) come into the series 0.5 behind Milwaukee.

Matchups after the break.

Cubs @ Colorado: Hamels vs. Senzatela

CHC (37-29): LHP Cole Hamels (5-2, 3.24 ERA)
COL (35-31): RHP Antonio Senzatela (5-4, 4.95 ERA)
First pitch 2:10pmCDT

Cole Hamels and the altitude-sick Cubs will try to salvage a game from this trash-fire series before they have to take on the NL best Dodgers in LA. Hamels was fantastic against the Cards last time, going eight shutout innings and collecting 10 strikeouts to three hits and a walk. It was his best start of the season so far, and a continuation of his being one of the best things to happen to the Cubs in the last year. He's made six career starts in Coors and has fared OK there, holing opponents to a .310 OBP. He's held current Rockies to a .710 OPS in in 165 at bats, but some key players (Dahl, Story) have never faced him.

Cubs @ Colorado: Quintana vs. Lambert (Game 66)

CHC (37-28): LHP José Quintana (4-5, 3.77 ERA)
COL (34-31): RHP Peter Lambert (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
First pitch 7:40pmCDT

The Cubs couldn't defend a four-run lead, nor were they able to assemble a comeback late in the series opener. Now José Quintana takes the hill and the Cubs work to even the series. Q lost to the Rockies at Wrigley last time. He surrendered six hits and no walks in 7.1 innings. Most of the damage resulted from a pair of doubles in the 4th. Q allowed three earned runs in that outing. He's pitched three games at Coors, and his opponents have gone 18-69 with four homeruns and five doubles, accumulating an OPS of .847. Charlie Blackmon is 4-6 against him, Trevor Story is 4-8, and Arenado is 2-12, but both hits were homeruns.

Cubs @ Colorado: Darvish vs. Márquez (Game 65)

CHC (37-27): RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.88 ERA)
COL (33-31): RHP German Márquez (6-3, 4.07 ERA)
First pitch 7:40pmCDT

Coming off the home sweep of the Cardinals, the Cubs fly west for a three-game set at altitude. Yu Darvish is set to be the first potential victim of Coors. Yu's had a solid stretch marred only by that Cincinnati game that came apart in the 8th inning. His last start came against the Rockies at home. He surrendered three runs, two earned, on three walks and three hits in 5.1 innings pitched. The Rockies did all that damage in the 6th before Kintzler managed to strand two runners belonging to Yu. Darvish has pitched one game in Colorado in his career and he allowed five runs on five hits and four walks. The Rockies have better stats at home, but they are right around league average with the park factored in (101 wRC+). That's still a marked improvement, as they are 29th in the majors on the road by the same measure (73 wRC+).

Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 62-64)

The third place Cardinals (31-29) roll into Chicago looking to knock the Cubs (34-27) out of first place for the second time in a week. Cubs fans meanwhile will be hoping for another round of turnabout, the Cardinals having answered an earlier sweep in the last faceoff. Since last weekend, the Cards went 1-1 against the Reds and the Cubs went 3-1 against the Angels and Rockies. While three wins is always better than one, the Cardinals should now have the advantage of rest.

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