|CHICAGO CUBS ( LESTER )|
ATLANTA ( TEHERAN )
|vs Right-handed Starters||31-39||-26.2||32-37||4.2||0.233||0.307||0.401||0.708||4.6||0.239||0.313||0.392||0.705|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-1.4||4-3||5.7||0.291||0.347||0.543||0.890||5.9||0.241||0.337||0.382||0.719|
|vs Left-handed Starters||7-4||+4.9||5-6||5.2||0.297||0.356||0.478||0.834||4.9||0.260||0.331||0.434||0.765|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+4.9||4-3||6.6||0.287||0.337||0.494||0.831||3.7||0.256||0.332||0.328||0.660|
|7/4/2017||LESTER(L)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||5-6||L||-135||7.5 un||O||11||10||1||9||4||1|
|7/5/2017||LACKEY(R)||TAMPA BAY||SNELL(L)||7-3||W||-175||9.5 ev||O||10||8||0||8||4||0|
|7/14/2017||MONTGOMERY(L)||@ BALTIMORE||GAUSMAN(R)||9-8||W||100||10 ev||O||10||2||0||10||10||0|
|7/15/2017||ARRIETA(R)||@ BALTIMORE||MILEY(L)||10-3||W||-125||10 ov||O||16||8||1||7||7||1|
|7/16/2017||QUINTANA(L)||@ BALTIMORE||JIMENEZ(R)||8-0||W||-160||10.5 ov||U||15||8||0||3||3||0|
|7/17/2017||LESTER(L)||@ ATLANTA||TEHERAN(R)|| |
|7/18/2017||LACKEY(R)||@ ATLANTA||NEWCOMB(L)|| |
|7/19/2017||MONTGOMERY(L)||@ ATLANTA||DICKEY(R)|| |
|7/21/2017||ARRIETA(R)||ST LOUIS||MARTINEZ(R)|| |
|7/22/2017||QUINTANA(L)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)|| |
|7/23/2017||LESTER(L)||ST LOUIS||WACHA(R)|| |
|7/24/2017|| ||CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|7/6/2017||FOLTYNEWICZ(R)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)||5-2||W||155||9 ev||U||12||10||0||11||9||0|
|7/7/2017||DICKEY(R)||@ WASHINGTON||SCHERZER(R)||4-5||L||230||8 ov||O||7||6||0||10||8||0|
|7/8/2017||TEHERAN(R)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||13-0||W||215||8.5 ov||O||15||8||1||4||9||1|
|7/9/2017||NEWCOMB(L)||@ WASHINGTON||ROSS(R)||5-10||L||120||9.5 un||O||7||4||1||12||8||1|
|7/17/2017||TEHERAN(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||LESTER(L)|| |
|7/18/2017||NEWCOMB(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||LACKEY(R)|| |
|7/19/2017||DICKEY(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||MONTGOMERY(L)|| |
|7/20/2017||FOLTYNEWICZ(R)||@ LA DODGERS||MCCARTHY(R)|| |
|7/21/2017||GARCIA(L)||@ LA DODGERS||WOOD(L)|| |
|7/22/2017||TEHERAN(R)||@ LA DODGERS||HILL(L)|| |
|7/23/2017||NEWCOMB(L)||@ LA DODGERS||KERSHAW(L)|| |
|7/24/2017|| ||@ ARIZONA|| || |
|CHICAGO CUBS: 2016: 103-58, won World Series
Manager: Joe Maddon (third season)
Who's new? OF Jon Jay, RHP Wade Davis, LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Koji Uehara, LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Eddie Butler
Who's gone? OF Dexter Fowler, IF/OF Jorge Soler, LHP Aroldis Chapman, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jason Hammel
Projected lineup: LF Kyle Schwarber (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI in two games), 3B Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.292, 32, 109), 2B Ben Zobrist (.272, 18, 76), SS Addison Russell (.238, 21, 95), RF Jason Heyward (.230, 7, 49, 11 SB), C Willson Contreras (.282, 12, 35), CF Jon Jay (.291, 2, 26 with Padres) or Albert Almora (.277, 3, 14 in 47 games)
Rotation: LH Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), RH Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10), RH Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13), RH John Lackey (11-8, 3.35), LH Brett Anderson (1-2, 11.91 in four games with Dodgers) or LH Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.52 with Mariners and Cubs) or RH Eddie Butler (2-5, 7.17 with Rockies) or LH Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 1.13 ERA in eight games) or RH Alec Mills (0-0, 13.50 in three games with Royals)
Key relievers: RH Wade Davis (2-1, 1.87, 27/30 SV with Royals), RH Pedro Strop (2-2, 2.85), RH Hector Rondon (2-3, 3.53, 18/23 SV), RH Koji Uehara (2-3, 3.45, 7/9 SV with Red Sox), RH Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1, 3.75), RH Justin Grimm (2-1, 4.10), LH Brian Duensing (1-0, 4.05 with Royals)
Hot spots: Fifth Starter. Of all the candidates vying to replace Hammel, who signed with Kansas City as a free agent, most have plenty of upside but didn't log many innings last year. That includes Anderson, who had one productive season and one unproductive season for the Dodgers. Keep an eye on southpaw Montgomery, who tossed two shutouts as a starter for the Mariners in 2015, came to the Cubs last year in a midseason trade, then was effective as a reliever. Last time he was on the mound, he recorded the save in Game 7 of the World Series.
Outlook: There hasn't been a back-to-back champion this century. For opponents of the Cubs, that might be the most tangible nugget of hope. Most of the key players return from a powerhouse team that played historically good defense, got no fewer than 165 innings from each of its top five starters, and featured a deep lineup led by NL MVP Kris Bryant. In the bullpen, two-time All-Star Davis is capable of replacing closer Chapman if he's healthy. Among the Cubs' regular position players, only Zobrist and new center fielder Jay are over 30 ' everyone else is either entering or in the midst of his prime. This is a strong outlook.
|ATLANTA: 2016: 68-93, fifth place
Manager: Brian Snitker (second season)
Who's new? 2B Brandon Phillips, 2B Micah Johnson, C Kurt Suzuki, IF/OF Sean Rodriguez, SP Bartolo Colon, SP R.A. Dickey, SP Jaime Garcia
Who's gone? OF Mallex Smith, C A.J. Pierzynski, RHP Chris Withrow, RHP Ryan Weber
Projected lineup: CF Ender Inciarte (.291, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 16 SB), SS Dansby Swanson (.302, 3, 17), 1B Freddie Freeman (.302, 34, 91), LF Matt Kemp (.280, 12, 39 with Padres and Braves), RF Nick Markakis (.269, 13, 89), 2B Brandon Phillips (.291, 11, 64, 14 SB), 3B Adonis Garcia (.273, 14, 65), C Tyler Flowers (.270, 8, 41)
Rotation: RH Julio Teheran (7-10, 3.21), RH Bartolo Colon (15-8, 3.43 with Mets), LH Jaime Garcia (10-13, 4.67 with Cardinals), RH R.A. Dickey (10-15, 4.46 with Blue Jays), RH Mike Foltynewicz (9-5, 4.31)
Key relievers: RH Jim Johnson (2-6, 3.06 ERA, 20/23 SV), RH Arodys Vizcaino (1-4, 4.42, 10/14 SV), RH Mauricio Cabrera (5-1, 2.82), LH Ian Krol (2-0, 3.18), RH Jose Ramirez (2-2, 3.58), RH Josh Collmenter (1-0, 4.84 with Diamondbacks)
Hot spots: Second base and rotation. Phillips, acquired from the Reds in February, is a placeholder for prospect Ozzie Albies at second base. Albies, 20, won the Double-A Southern League batting title in 2016 and is a potential September call-up at least. The rotation is in a similar state of transition, but it's more complicated. Veterans Teheran, Colon, Dickey and Garcia have jobs for now. Youngsters Foltynewicz, Aaron Blair, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Sean Newcomb are pushing to seize long-term spots.
Outlook: In the inaugural season at SunTrust Park, the Braves will try to crack .500 for the first time since 2013. Their rebuilding work isn't finished, but the front office added about $30 million in salary over the winter. That ought to be enough to make the Braves watchable again. Now, the veterans trying to extend their careers in Atlanta (Colon, Dickey, Phillips, Kemp) are almost as intriguing as the prospects. The sight of 23-year-old shortstop Swanson backing up 40-something pitchers Colon and Dickey could be something special.
|Cubs' Lester looks to rebound at Atlanta|
ATLANTA -- Pitching in a city where he always has success and is near his offseason home would appear to be the perfect situation for Jon Lester to get back on track.
The Atlanta Braves, though, have a new ballpark, and things definitely aren't normal for the Chicago Cubs left-hander.
Lester, who faces the Braves at SunTrust Park on Monday night, is coming off the worst outing of his successful 12-year career.
The winner of 151 major league games went into the All-Star break after giving up 10 runs (four earned) while getting just two outs against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 9.
Lester had never failed to pitch at least four innings in his previous 334 starts.
"Nothing I can say can justify or give you a reason," Lester said afterward. "It's embarrassing."
The loss dropped Lester -- a 19-game winner a year ago -- to 5-6 and raised his ERA to 4.25. He had a 2.44 ERA last season. Lester allowed a grand slam among two homers and walked three against the Pirates.
Lester's struggles mirror those of the defending World Series champion Cubs (46-45), who got back over .500 with an interleague series sweep at Baltimore over the weekend, climaxed by trade acquisition Jose Quintana's scoreless outing in his first start Sunday.
The improved Braves (45-45) are also coming off a sweep, winning three games at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Lester is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five career starts in Atlanta, but all of those were at Turner Field.
Julio Teheran, who will start for the Braves against Lester, knows there is a difference between the old pitcher-friendly ballpark and SunTrust Park.
Teheran, who thrived at Turner Field, is 1-6 with a 7.58 ERA in nine home starts this season compared to 6-0 with a 2.53 ERA in nine road outings.
"It shouldn't matter where you pitch, but you want to pitch good here," Teheran said. "This is where you play the most games. I want to be better."
Teheran, who is 7-6 with a 4.79 ERA overall, pitched well in two road outings before the All-Star break, allowing seven hits and two runs in 13 1/3 innings.
The right-hander from Colombia has pitched well in his career against the Cubs, going 2-0 with a 3.11 ERA in six starts.
Despite their 35-victory difference in records last season, the Braves split six games against the Cubs. One of Chicago's two victories in Atlanta came from Lester, who won 8-2 on June 12.
Lester is 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA against Atlanta in his last three starts, all Cubs victories.
The Braves had a 43-30 regular-season edge over the Cubs in 20 seasons at Turner Field.
Atlanta lost 93 games last year and 95 games the previous year, but a victory against the Cubs in the series opener would give them a winning record for the first time since June 1, 2015.
"Getting to .500 is a hurdle. It's nice to get there," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "But the way we've played, I feel we should be about five over instead of at .500."
Atlanta slugger Matt Kemp added, "We've got the defending champions coming in. There should be some good baseball. We've got to keep going."
|Last Updated: 9/20/2017 11:30:32 AM EST|