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Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks preview, Tuesday 8/1, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs open up a six-game homestand against two playoff-contending teams.

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Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It’s August. Know what that means?

It’s when the Cubs start winning.

The 2015 Cubs began August at 55-47. They went 19-9 in August.

The 2016 Cubs began August at 63-41. They went 22-6 in August.

Going into today’s action the Cubs are 56-48, the same number of games over .500 they were on this date in 2015. The Cubs have 29 games on the schedule this month. Nine of those games (six vs. the D-backs and three vs. the Nationals) are against teams currently over .500.

Do you think the Cubs can go 19-10 or 20-9 this month? I do.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Diamondbacks lineup:

Peralta LF, Pollock CF, Rosales SS, Goldschmidt 1B, Martinez RF, Drury 3B, Descalso 2B, Mathis C, Corbin P

Jon Lester vs. Patrick Corbin

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This would normally be Jake Arrieta’s day to start, but Jon Lester has been moved up — the report is that he has to attend a funeral.

Anyway, since the All-Star break Jon’s been really, really good, just as he was early this year and for most of last year: three starts, 22 innings, 2.05 ERA, 0.545 WHIP, just two walks. His last start vs. the Diamondbacks was September 4, 2015; he allowed two runs in five innings that day, a game where the Cubs pounded four homers off D-backs pitching.

Patrick Corbin had a shaky start to this season but he has been much better over his last four starts: 24⅓ innings, 2.59 ERA, 1.438 WHIP. His only start vs. the Cubs last year was June 5, 2016 at Wrigley Field; he threw seven innings and allowed two runs. One of the runs was a solo homer by Javier Baez.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It’s also being carried on CSN Chicago Plus in Spanish with play-by-play announcer Rodrigo Arana and commentary by former Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

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 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.