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Cubs vs. Rockies Preview, Monday 7/28, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs have played 103 games this year -- 63.5 percent of the schedule. Tonight, they will play the Rockies for the first time in 2014.

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Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Just as it was last week for two of the night games in the Padres series, tonight's weather forecast calls for cooler-than-normal late-July weather with the wind blowing in.

That ought to be interesting, with an offensively-challenged Cubs team facing a Rockies team that's leading the major leagues in runs scored, although, as noted in Russ La Croix' series preview, many of the players responsible for those runs are currently on the disabled list.

The Cubs will also be facing all lefthanded starters in this series. I can't remember the last time that happened, and the reason for that is because it's before my lifetime:

Oddly enough, the Cubs have faced the third-fewest number of lefthanded starters of any team in baseball this year. They have had 20 games against LHP (10-10); only the Braves (10-8) and Pirates (10-9) have faced fewer southpaws.

So, the Cubs have been significantly better vs. LHP this year,  playing.500 ball in those 20 games as opposed to 32-51 (.386) against righthanded starters. We'll see if that makes any difference over the next four games. Here's one of the reasons they've done better vs. lefthanded starters:

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Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio 3B, Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Ruggiano RF, Coghlan LF, Lake CF, Baker C, Wada P

Emilio Bonifacio has now started at three different positions in four days. I'm guessing some scouts asked to see him at third base. I'm expecting him to be traded by Thursday.

Rockies lineup:

Blackmon CF, Rutledge SS, Gonzalez RF, Arenado 3B, Rosario C, Barnes LF, Paulsen 1B, LeMahieu 2B, Flande P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Tsuyoshi Wada

Tsuyoshi Wada


Cubs

vs. Yohan Flande

Yohan Flande


Rockies

vs. Col

--

vs. Cubs

Tsuyoshi Wada is making his third major-league start tonight. Yohan Flande is making his fifth. Neither, obviously, has faced the other team before, as this is the first Cubs/Rockies game of 2014. Wada has made one decent start and one bad one. Flande has a 7.20 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his four starts and hasn't pitched six innings in any of them. We could be looking at a high-scoring game tonight.

Plus, that last name makes me think of food. You know, a "flambé." Like this one. Hungry?

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Rockies site Purple Row.

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.