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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates preview, Monday 8/28, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs return home to face a divisional opponent.

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s look at the positive side.

Since the All-Star break the Cubs are 26-15. That’s a .634 winning percentage. Keep winning at that percentage for the remaining 33 games, that’s 21 wins, or 90 for the season, which should be enough for a division title. Of those 33 games, 26 of them are against teams currently over .500 — the seven vs. the Brewers. Every other team remaining on the Cubs schedule is at .500 or below.

Also, the Cubs are on a three-game winning streak at Wrigley Field, having swept the Blue Jays in the last homestand.

And, the Cubs will have 24 of their final 33 games against teams in the N.L. Central, where they have a 30-22 record, which is the best intradivisional record of any of the Central teams. (Remaining games outside the Central: four vs. Braves and three vs. Mets at Wrigley, and two vs. Rays at Tampa.)

Feel better now?

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, La Stella 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ LF, Avila C, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Montgomery P

The Pirates lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Pirates lineup.

Mike Montgomery vs. Trevor Williams

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Montgomery had probably the best start of his Cubs career in his last outing. I’d take another one of those, please.

Against the Pirates this year he has three relief appearances totaling five innings, with two earned runs allowed, four walks and four strikeouts. I don’t think I need to tell you that MiMo has to cut down on the walks to be successful. He did that against the Reds last week; if he can do that again, good things will happen.

Trevor Williams has made two relief appearances and two starts against the Cubs this year. Results: 5.27 ERA, 1.610 WHIP, seven walks in 13⅔ innings. In his last start vs. the Cubs, July 7 at Wrigley Field, he didn’t get out of the fourth inning.

On the other hand, he just threw eight shutout innings against the Dodgers in his last start. So: Who knows?

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.