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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds preview, Monday 8/14, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs begin an important seven-game homestand.

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

So, here’s where the Cubs can really go on a run, presuming they actually are superior to the teams that have been chasing them. The Cubs are 18-10 since the All-Star break. That’s a .643 winning percentage. If they can do that the rest of the way they’ll go 29-17, which would be a 90-win season and probably good enough to win the N.L. Central.

They can start with this sequence: the next 13 games are against teams currently in last place in their division: the Reds, the Blue Jays, the Reds again and the Phillies. And then there are 11 more games against teams currently under .500: the Pirates, the Braves and the Pirates again. That’s 24 straight games vs. teams with losing records; the next scheduled game against a team currently over .500 is September 8 vs. the Brewers. And Milwaukee could be sub-.500 by then, as they have a tough Western swing coming up.

Of the Cubs’ 46 remaining contests, 32 are against teams currently under .500 and they don’t play a team the rest of the year that’s currently more than four games over .500 (Cardinals).

Now’s the time. Git ‘er done, Cubs.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Schwarber LF, Avila C, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Quintana P

Reds lineup:

Hamilton CF, Cozart SS, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Suarez 3B, Gennett 2B, Mesoraco C, Kivlehan RF, Wojciechowski P

Jose Quintana vs. Asher Wojciechowski

Joe Camporeale-USA Today Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA Today Sports

Jose Quintana’s five starts as a Cub: excellent, good, good, not good, decent.

The Cubs acquired him to do the first three, not the last two. Hopefully, he can turn things around and give the Cubs those good-to-excellent outings. He has gone at least six innings in four of the five, so there’s that, at least.

Quintana has never faced the Reds and just three members of the current Reds team (Scooter Gennett, Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez) have ever seen him before. Perhaps that will be to his advantage.

Yes. There is actually a major-league pitcher named Asher Wojciechowski. He was once a top prospect of the Astros, but since last year he’s become an itinerant, going through the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Reds organizations. He threw pretty well this year at Triple-A Louisville, but is no longer really a prospect at 28. He has never faced the Cubs and the only Cub who’s ever faced him is Ben Zobrist (1-for-2).

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Today's game is on WGN.

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.