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Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies preview, Thursday 6/8, 7:05 CT

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The first-place Rockies come to town. Wait, what?

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Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

At this writing the Giants and Brewers are tied.

If the Brewers defeat the Giants Thursday afternoon, the Cubs will be now 1½ games out of first place. That's all in the win column; the teams are even in the loss column.

IF the Brewers lose to the Giants Thursday afternoon, and if the Cubs can win tonight they'll move back into a first-place tie, and that would also put the Cubs one game ahead of Milwaukee in the loss column.

The Cubs have their work cut out for them with the first-place Rockies visiting this weekend. No, you did not predict that the Rockies would be in first place in June. No one did, probably not even the most devoted Rockies fan.

Let's get right to the game info.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Happ CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Heyward RF, Contreras C, Baez SS, Lester P, Schwarber LF

Rockies lineup:

Blackmon CF, LeMahieu 2B, Arenado 3B, Reynolds 1B, Gonzalez RF, Desmond LF, Story SS, Wolters C, Chatwood P

Jon Lester vs. Tyler Chatwood

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This is an interesting matchup. Both of these pitchers have extreme home/road splits, as follows:

Chatwood: Home, six starts, 32 innings, 7.03 ERA. Road, six starts, 40⅓ innings, 2.68 ERA

Lester: Home, seven starts, 46 innings, 2.15 ERA. Road, five starts, 25⅓ innings, 7.11 ERA

Haven't checked but those are likely among the two most extreme home/road splits for any starters this year. Lester didn't face the Rockies in the series last month, and Chatwood didn't face the Cubs.

Chatwood's last three starts fit that pattern: two excellent road starts, pounded at Coors Field. Lester, same thing in reverse: two good starts at Wrigley, hit hard on the road.

Conclusion: we should expect a pitchers' duel tonight. But then, you know how those kinds of things often work out.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus.

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.