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Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Sunday 7/19, 4:05 CT

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The Cubs haven't won a series in Atlanta since 2011. Time to change that!

Just what is third-base coach Gary Jones doing here? Write your own caption
Just what is third-base coach Gary Jones doing here? Write your own caption
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Four years ago, the Cubs traveled to Turner Field and won two of three from the Braves. That series included this 10-4 loss after which Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and said he was "retiring." (The Cubs gave him a paid team suspension and he never did pitch another game in blue pinstripes.)

It also included this wacky game in which Cubs hitters struck out 18 times but won anyway. (That's one of just 11 times a team has struck out 18 times or more in a nine-inning game and won.)

We'd like less drama and more victory this afternoon/evening, please.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Coghlan LF, Castro SS, Ross C, Arrieta P, Herrera 2B

It had been announced Friday that Kyle Schwarber would not catch Jon Lester or Jake Arrieta, so it's no surprise to see him not starting today. It does raise this issue: what's the point of Taylor Teagarden on this roster if he's not going to play?

Braves lineup:

Peterson 2B, Maybin CF, Markakis RF, K. Johnson 1B, Pierzynski C, Ciriaco 3B, Perez LF, Simmons SS, Miller P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


Cubs

vs. Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller


Braves

vs. Atl

--

vs. Cubs

Jake Arrieta has been awesome this year. He has a 1.13 ERA and 0.737 WHIP over his last five starts covering 39⅔ innings -- note that inning count, he's averaged almost eight innings per start over that time with only four walks and 34 strikeouts. He threw seven solid innings against the Braves July 11, 2014 at Wrigley Field, but most of those players aren't on the Braves roster now. Arrieta needs to watch out for A.J. Pierzynski, who is 6-for-8 against him with two home runs.

Shelby Miller has given the Braves some good value in the Jason Heyward trade. Miller has a 2.38 ERA and two complete-game shutouts this year. He was hit hard in two of his last three starts, so perhaps the Cubs can take advantage of that. Current members of the Cubs are a small-sample-size 8-for-30 (.267) with one home run (Jorge Soler).

Today's game is on WGN. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf).

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 Braves site Talking Chop. If you do go there to interact with Braves fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.