Chicago Cubs, Jon Lester look to clinch series against Dodgers


Cubs, Lester look for series win in afternoon tilt

The Chicago Cubs’ Jon Lester has given them exactly what they expected in the last two starts when they signed him. Today he’ll look to give the Cubs their third win in the four-game series after seeing their winning streak snapped last night in the 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  

Lester (4-5, 3.80) has had some ups and downs but been effective in his last two starts. His record makes many think he hasn’t been worth the $155 million, but the support hasn’t always been there for him either. The Cubs (39-31) won’t have Starlin Castro, who was scratched as he awaits the birth of his second son. They’re already without Dexter Fowler, who sprained his ankle in the opener. He’s pinch-hit in the last two games.

The Dodgers (40-33) will send fill-in fifth starter Carlos Frias (4-5, 4.68) to the hill, and he’s struggled mightily in his last four starts, posting an 0-3 record with a 5.25 ERA. While he won’t face a few of the Cubs better hitters, his offense will be without some as well. Don Mattingly will sit Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal against the lefty Lester although lefties have hit him well at a .319 clip.

The Cubs hope to take three out of four from the West-leading Dodgers before traveling to St. Louis for a big weekend series against the first-place Cardinals.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field. ABC 7 and MLBN will have the TV coverage while WBBM 780 has the radio broadcast.

Here are the lineups for today’s finale: