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Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins preview, Saturday 6/24, 3:10 CT

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Perhaps the Cubs offense will show up today.

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Here's something encouraging:

Now, if the Cubs' hitting could only break out along with this starting pitching, maybe we'd have something. Here's an article by Jesse Rogers that suggests part of the problem is not being able to hit righthanders:

The Cubs rank first in the National League with an .818 OPS against lefties -- and it's no coincidence they had 11 runs when left-hander Jeff Locke started on Thursday.

Against righties, they rank 12th in OPS with a .726 mark. Their batting average against right-handers is .234, 15th -- dead last -- in the NL. The result is an 11-6 record against lefty starters and just a 26-30 mark when a righty starts.

And, a bit of news:

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay LF, Bryant 1B, Contreras C, Russell SS, Happ 2B, Baez 3B, Almora CF, Zagunis RF, Lester P

Anthony Rizzo gets the day off.

Marlins lineup:

Gordon 2B, Stanton RF, Yelich CF, Ozuna LF, Realmuto C, Prado 3B, Moore 1B, Riddle SS, Nicolino P

Jon Lester vs. Justin Nicolino

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe, just maybe, Jon Lester has turned the corner. His last two starts have been really good: 13 innings, 2.08 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, 17 strikeouts. He has not faced the Marlins this year, but his last start against them, June 23, 2016 in Miami, was very good too (seven innings, two runs, the bullpen blew the game).

Justin Nicolino joined the Marlins rotation May 14 and had a really good start vs. the Braves. Since then? Not so much. He's made three other starts, hasn't gotten out of the fourth inning in any of them, and allowed four home runs in 10 total innings in those three starts.

He's never faced the Cubs and the only Cub who's seen him is Jon Jay (1-for-3).

And, Nicolino is lefthanded. If the numbers above mean anything, the Cubs should be able to hit him hard.

Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.