Chicago Cubs turn to Lester for opener against Diamondbacks

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Jon Lester
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 27: Jon Lester /

The Chicago Cubs will turn to Jon Lester a day ahead of schedule so he can attend his uncle’s funeral. He’ll be pitching on regular rest because of the off day on Monday. Lester will be looking for his fourth consecutive quality start.

The Chicago Cubs return home to play the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at Wrigley Field. Jon Lester will take the ball for the Cubs as he comes off another solid start in which he went seven innings. Since his debacle of a start against Pittsburgh, Lester has posted three straight quality starts, last seven innings or more in each. He’ll face a D-backs lineup that has struggled against southpaws this season.

The Cubs (56-48) have turned things around since the break, and have seemingly gotten stronger in the process. They added Justin Wilson and Alex Avila from the Detroit Tigers. Wilson will help shorten the game for the bullpen, while Avila offers a veteran backstop to help spell Willson Contreras during the stretch run. Lester (8-6, 3.88) will face a D-backs lineup that has posted on of the lowest OPS’s against lefties (.690–third lowest in NL).

The Diamondbacks (60-45) are playing for one of the Wild Card berths as the Los Angeles Dodgers are running away with the NL West. The Dodgers 74 wins is the most in the majors, as the D-backs 60 wins would be good enough for first place in four of the six divisions. Patrick Corbin (8-8, 4.36) will take the mound for the D-backs riding a modest two-game winning streak.

To make room for Wilson and Avila, the Cubs optioned Justin Grimm and Victor Caratini to Trible-A Iowa. Both of them could be back with September call-ups if the Cubs want to get players some rest, depending on the state of the division.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener:

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First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. CT from beautiful Wrigley Field. CSN Chicago will have the television coverage while The Score 670 will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back after the contest for postgame coverage and more!