Game One Hundred Eight: Cubs (66-41) vs. Athletics (47-60)
- Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 182, 844
- Location – Oakland Coliseum, Oakland
Jon Lester, LHP (11-4, 2.95/1.10/3.89) vs. Dillon Overton, LHP (1-2, 9.33/2.18/9.30)
The Cubs get back to work tonight with the first of a three-game weekend series in Oakland against the Athletics.
The Cubs have not played the A’s in the regular season since 2013. The Cubs dropped two of three in Oakland three years ago. This is the fourth Interleague series with the A’s and second in Oakland. The Cubs went 4-2 against the A’s in the two series at Wrigley (2004, 2010). The Cubs have a one-game edge in the nine regular season games (5-4) with the A’s since 2004.
The Cubs have only one stop on the West Coast road trip and will fly back to Chicago after Sunday’s finale. The Cubs have a 10-game homestand that begins Tuesday with the Angels. The Cubs have to fly back to the coast in two weeks for an incredibly challenging nine-game, three city trip with stops in Colorado (Aug. 19-21), San Diego (Aug. 22-24) and Los Angeles (Aug. 26-28).
The Cubs begin play tonight 25 games over .500 but only five games above .500 on the road (29-24). The Cubs are 8-4 versus the Junior Circuit this season with games left against the Athletics (Aug. 5-7), Angels (Aug. 9-10) and Astros (Sept. 9-11). And while the A’s have struggled this season, the next three days will be anything but easy for the Cubs.
The Cubs do not fare well against pitchers they have little to no history. And for the next three games, the offense will have to make in-game adjustments in order enjoy at least Meat Loaf on the flight back to Chicago.
After tonight’s matchup of lefties Jon Lester and Dillon Overton, Jake Arrieta faces Sonny Gray on Saturday afternoon (3:05pm CDT). The series in Oakland wraps up Sunday afternoon (3:05pm CDT) with Kyle Hendricks taking on lefty Sean Manaea.
Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup tonight against the A’s southpaw. Left-handers and right-handers have hit and hit with a lot of power against him this season both the minors and majors. Maddon did not say Wednesday which player/players he was leaning toward using at designated hitter during this series. Dexter Fowler should see at least one game at DH and Willson Contreras could use a break in the field while keeping his bat in the lineup. Of course, any changes to the roster will impact Maddon’s plans for his lineups.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester bounced back his last time out against the Mariners and tossed six innings of shutout ball. Lester struggled against the Brewers in Milwaukee and really needed to finish what was a difficult month with a good outing. Lester allowed four hits and walked two while striking out seven in six innings. Lester likely would have pitched deeper in the game if the offense did not break the game open. The Cubs won the rain delayed game 12-1.
Lester was the NL Pitcher of the Month in June and was really the exact opposite in July. Lester was 2-1 in five starts with a 7.36 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. It’s a new month and it’s imperative for Lester pitch the next three months like he did in April, May and June.
Jon Lester is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 2.55 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. And on the road this season, Lester is 5-2 in 11 starts with a 4.03 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.
Lester faces his former team for the first time since signing as a free agent with the Cubs. Lester is 5-4 in 14 starts against the A’s with a 3.64 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. At the Oakland Coliseum, Lester is 4-5 in 12 starts with a 2.71 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.
Athletics Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Billy Butler: 5-for-31 with one double and five walks
- Danny Valencia: 6-for-20 with two doubles and one home run
- Coco Crisp: 2-for-13 with one home run and one walk
- Jed Lowrie: 3-for-11 with two walks
- Khris Davis: 2-for-8 with one double and one walk
- Marcus Semien: 1-for-7
- Stephen Vogt: 0-for-3
The Cubs get their first look at rookie southpaw Dillon Overton. The A’s lefty is making just the fifth start of his big league career tonight and he’s coming off a rough game against the Indians in Cleveland.
Overton gave up five runs on 10 hits to the Tribe in 3 1/3 innings. Overton served up three home runs, walked a batter and struck out one. Overton makes just the third start of his career at his home park tonight. Overton is 0-1 in two starts at the Coliseum with a 10.61 ERA and 2.14 WHIP.
Dillon Overton was 10-4 in 17 games, 16 starts, for Triple-A Nashville with a 3.21 ERA and 1.27 WHIP before he received the call. Overton allowed 41 runs, 37 earned, on 109 this with 23 walks and 89 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings.
No one on Joe Maddon’s active roster has faced Dillion Overton in a regular season big league ballgame.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …