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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Monday 4/13, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs look to start off a six-game homestand on a positive note.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A note from the Cubs on an upcoming charitable aim, via press release:

The Chicago Cubs announced today that the organization and its fans will help those affected by tornadoes that swept through Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, last week, during Tuesday night’s Cubs vs. Reds game.

Cubs associates will collect monetary donations at the gates at Wrigley Field before the start of the game. Money raised during the evening will benefit the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation to support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes.

Proceeds from the night’s Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle also will benefit the cause.

This is a good cause so if you're going to the game tomorrow, you should consider donating. The Cubs say you can do this even if you're not going by visiting cubs.com/give.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Olt 3B, Ross C, Lester P, Alcantara 2B

Since the Cubs' cool Twitter lineup was available early, here it is:

Reds lineup:

Negron CF, Votto 1B, Frazier 3B, Phillips 2B, Byrd LF, Bruce RF, Pena C, Cozart SS, Leake P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


Cubs

vs. Mike Leake

Mike Leake


Reds

vs. Cin

--

vs. Cubs

I suspect we'll see a lot of this, at least early on: Jon Lester has never faced the Reds, and current members of their team are a small-sample-size 13-for-46 (.283) against him. So -- past performance means very little here. As has been noted elsewhere, one of the keys to Lester being successful tonight is keeping Billy Hamilton off the bases.

Mike Leake, on the other hand, has been in the N.L. Central his entire career, so has faced the Cubs many times, though only once in 2014 (July 7 in Cincinnati, and a lot of the Cubs who played in that game are gone). The Cub he's faced most is Starlin Castro (.302, 13-for-43, three doubles, a triple, three walks).

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local listings for the channel).

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 Reds site Red Reporter. Be careful over there, though.

Once again for 2015, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as the last couple of years. 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 most 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.