Once again I commend you to Russ La Croix' series preview for more detailed information on the matchups.
What I will say here is that once again, the schedule-makers have done the Cubs no favors. After this series the Cubs will be exactly one-third of the way through the 2014 season -- 54 games. Exactly one-third of those are against just two teams -- the Brewers and Cardinals. They've gone 7-8 in the 15 games so far, which isn't bad, but still...
After Sunday the Cubs won't see the Brewers again until mid-August and won't return to Miller Park until the last three games of the season. Since 2010 the Cubs are 13-27 in Miller Park... indicating this series is likely to go 1-2, and the Cubs will finish the first third of the season at 20-34, on pace for 60-102.
Try to enjoy the game anyway.
Bonifacio 2B, Lake CF, Valbuena 3B, Castro SS, Ruggiano LF, Castillo C, Schierholtz RF, Olt 1B, Wood P
It was hinted the other day that Anthony Rizzo might get a day off in this series, and here it is. Possible reason:
Good enough for me.
Segura SS, Braun RF, Lucroy 1B, Gomez CF, Davis LF, Weeks 2B, Reynolds 3B, Maldonado C, Estrada P
Today's Starting Pitchers
These two pitchers faced each other April 26 at Miller Park. You might want to avert your eyes from that link -- Wood had a rough go, Estrada threw quite well. Estrada has not been quite that good since (5.16 ERA in May including getting roughed up by the Cubs at Wrigley in yet another game in which he faced Travis Wood May 18). Wood threw much better that day.
Estrada leads the major leagues in home runs allowed (16). Six of those are in his last two starts. Perhaps the Cubs can hit some long balls tonight.
It's really unusual, in these days of five-man rotations, for two pitchers to face each other three times in the season's first two months -- and these teams have two more series, so it could happen two more times. That'd be almost unique in modern baseball.
Today's game is on WGN.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.