Yes, the Detroit Tigers are gone from Wrigley Field, headed home to host the Texas Rangers. Unless there's some playoff matchup in the next couple of years with Detroit, we won't have to worry about the Tigers bashing baseballs around Wrigley Field until at least 2018.
The Braves... ah, now there's a team in freefall, ripe for the Cubs to defeat. They are 2-18 in their last 20 road games. They are 11-20 since the All-Star break, and the Cubs were a Pedro Strop mistake away from potentially sweeping them in Atlanta last month, and that was before they traded away a whole bunch of people from their 25-man roster to the Mets and Dodgers.
In all, there are nine players on the Braves' 25-man roster who weren't there when the Cubs played them just one month ago -- including our old friend Edwin Jackson, who the Braves signed to be in their bullpen. Edwin might be a nice guy and all, but oh, how I want Cubs hitters to light him up.
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, Montero C, Soler RF, Arrieta P, Russell SS
A swap in the lineup with Miguel Montero moving up to sixth and Jorge Soler dropping to seventh.
The Braves lineup was not available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Braves lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta had one of his best starts of the year July 19 in Atlanta, holding the Braves to three hits and three walks and no runs allowed in seven innings, with 10 strikeouts. One more just like that one, please.
This is not your father's Braves, the team of Maddux and Smoltz and Glavine. Mike Foltynewicz? Hard to type, I'll tell you that. The Braves acquired him last winter from the Astros in the Evan Gattis deal. He has made 16 appearances (13 starts) for the Braves, and has made it past the fifth inning in just five of those starts. He has allowed 15 home runs in 77 innings, seven of those homers in his last four starts in just 22⅓ innings. He has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on their roster.
Sounds like just the guy for the Cubs to warm up their bats against.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.