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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Thursday 4/5, 7:10 CT

At least we know these games won’t be rained out!

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

One thing the Cubs are certainly grateful for this weekend is the roof at Miller Park. While the inside of the park isn’t heated, it’s generally expected to be about 30 degrees warmer inside than outside. That means inside temps for this game should be in the mid-60s (Wednesday’s game time temp was reported as 65).

Thus, much better conditions for playing baseball than the Cubs had in their rain-abbreviated one-game set in Cincinnati.

Hopefully, that will warm up the Cubs bats, too. Just three teams in the N.L. (Giants, Phillies, Reds) have scored fewer runs than the Cubs’ 19. Small sample size, etc. etc.

On the other hand, only two teams in the N.L. (Mets, Dodgers) have allowed fewer runs than the Cubs’ 19. How’d you like to be the Dodgers right now? They’ve outscored their opponents 22-19 in their first seven games, but are 2-5.

Relax. This team is good. They will win lots of games, hopefully beginning tonight.

Also, a Brewers note: Christian Yelich left Wednesday’s game with some sort of oblique issue. He won’t play tonight and at this writing it’s uncertain when he’ll return.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Brent Suter, LHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

You probably don’t want to hear any more about Jon Lester’s first 2018 start.

There’s a meme about the Brewers running wild on Lester, but overall his numbers against Milwaukee are quite good: six career starts, 2.77 ERA, 1.154 WHIP. Stolen bases: 14. Caught stealing: 3. That’s not great, but in six starts, just 17 steal attempts, which isn’t a lot.

Maybe Jon will surprise us with a new pickoff move tonight. Like this one, perhaps:

Current Brewers are hitting .274 (17-for-62) against him with no home runs and 20 strikeouts. 12 of those 17 hits are by Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain; the rest of the current Brewers are 5-for-30 against Lester.

Brent Suter threw pretty well for Milwaukee last year after he was inserted into their rotation, including two good starts vs. the Cubs in which he allowed just one run in 12⅓ total innings. He’s a soft tosser who, when his game is on, can induce weak contact. His first start of 2018 wasn’t quite that good: five innings, three runs, a home run allowed.

Current Cubs are a small sample size 12-for-43 (.279) against Suter with no home runs.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.

Discuss amongst yourselves.