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Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview, Friday 9/4, 1:20 CT

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New day, new opponent, time to start winning again. (Right?)

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cubs have eight games remaining outside the National League Central -- four against the Phillies, one against the Royals and the three games this weekend against the Diamondbacks.

The D'backs have historically been a tough team for the Cubs to beat. All-time they are 56-72 against them, though it's better at Wrigley: 32-29. At least the Cubs don't have to worry about playing in that airplane hangar in Phoenix until next year.

Arizona will be without Paul Goldschmidt today, as he's in Phoenix celebrating the birth of his first child. (Don't you need the entire weekend, Goldy?)

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.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Jackson RF, Coghlan LF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Baez 2B, Ross C, Lester P, Russell SS

Diamondbacks lineup:

Inciarte RF, Gosselin 3B, Pollock CF, Castillo C, Peralta LF, Tomas 1B, Owings 2B, Ahmed SS, Godley P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


Cubs

vs. somebody

Zack Godley


Diamondbacks

vs. Ari

--

vs. Cubs

Jon Lester had a very good start against the Diamondbacks May 22 in Phoenix, seven innings, two runs (the bullpen blew that game). Also, this:

Jon Lester ERA by month, 2015

April: 6.23
May: 1.76
June: 5.74
July: 1.66
August: 5.04

Time for that alternate-month pattern to do its thing again. Also, Lester had a very good September 2014 for the Athletics last year: 2.00 ERA in six starts.

Zack Godley was the Cubs' 10th-round pick in 2013 and was traded to the Diamondbacks in last winter's Miguel Montero deal. Though he did reasonably well in the Cubs system, he had never pitched above High-A and wasn't really on anyone's radar. The D'backs promoted him to the majors directly from Double-A and he's done well in a small sample size (1.90 ERA in 23⅓ innings). He has obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs' roster. Ought to be interesting.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It can also be seen nationally on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings).

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 Diamondbacks site AZ Snakepit. If you do go there to interact with Diamondbacks 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.