This one could get real interesting -- not just because every game is critical, but because there's a fair chance of thunderstorms tonight. Let's hope they can get this game in before the storms hit.
I did a Q-and-A with Rob Rogacki of SB Nation's Tigers site Bless You Boys and you can read my replies to his questions at this link. And if you haven't yet checked out the series preview, click here.
Finally, here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Coghlan 2B, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Soler RF, Montero C, Hammel P, Russell SS
We're back in action tonight as @HammelTime39 faces the #Tigers. Game preview: http://t.co/uaCOYAnbAt #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/zxWRUM2wtc— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 18, 2015
The Tigers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Tigers lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel is having a good year statistically, but he has not thrown six innings in any start since he hurt his leg July 8 against the Cardinals. This hints that he might still not be 100 percent. He's got a 4.13 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break with four home runs allowed in 24 innings. Hopefully, he'll be back to his pre-All-Star form tonight. Current members of the Tigers are a small-sample-size 10-for-44 against him with three home runs (Alex Avila, Rajai Davis, Victor Martinez).
Anibal Sanchez had one of his best starts of the year against the Cubs June 9 in Detroit -- 7⅔ shutout innings, allowing just six singles and two walks and striking out seven. Since that game he has a 4.71 ERA in 11 starts, with 15 home runs allowed in 72⅔ innings. And that stretch includes a complete-game shutout against the Reds. Here's hoping we see the bad Sanchez tonight. Current Cubs are 17-for-86 (.198) against Sanchez with two home runs (Miguel Montero and David Ross, and only one of those guys is playing tonight).
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf). In most of the USA this game will be available on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings).
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Tigers site Bless You Boys. If you do go there to interact with Tigers 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.