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Chicago Cubs vs. Tampa Bay Rays preview, Wednesday 9/20, 6:10 CT

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The Cubs go for their eighth consecutive win.

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Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Here are a few notes for tonight’s game:

  • Kyle Schwarber’s home run Tuesday night was his fourth as a DH this year. That ties the single-season Cubs DH homer record, set by Alfonso Soriano in 2012.
  • The Cubs have 284 regular season victories since the start of the 2015 season, marking the winningest three-season span for the franchise in over 100 years, since the team won 287 regular season contests from 1910-12. The franchise record is 322, from 1906-08.
  • The Cubs are 12-7 in interleague play with one game (tonight) remaining against the A.L. (in the regular season). Including a 15-5 mark last season, the Cubs have recorded consecutive winning campaigns against the A.L. for the first time since 2000 (8-7) and 2001 (9-6). The current seven-game interleague winning streak is tied for the franchise’s longest, set last season from July 31-September 9.
  • And, here’s something nice that will happen pregame tonight:

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Rays lineup:

Kiermaier CF, Souza RF, Longoria 3B, Morrison 1B, Ramos C, Hechavarria SS, Puello DH, Miller 2B, Bourjos LF

Jon Lester vs. Blake Snell

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

Jon Lester threw five innings against the Rays July 4 at Wrigley Field and got touched up pretty good: nine hits, five runs in five innings.

His last two starts, though, have been quite good: three runs in 12 innings and 10 strikeouts (though also eight walks). This will be his 11th career start at Tropicana Field, though he has not pitched there since 2014.

The Cubs faced Blake Snell July 5 at Wrigley Field and were stymied by the soft-tossing lefty: four hits (and four walks) in five innings in which they did not score. The Cubs eventually won that game off the Rays bullpen.

Since that outing Snell has alternated decent outings with mediocre ones. This month alone he’s shut down a pretty good Yankees offense (one run in five innings), but got hit hard by the Twins (six runs in four innings).

I think the Cubs will have a better idea what to do with Snell tonight.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)

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.