The Cubs and Reds play the middle game of the series this afternoon (3:10pm CDT) at Great American Ball Park. Jon Lester will oppose righty Tim Adleman as he looks for win No. 20 on the season. And as expected, Joe Maddon is running out his Lester Lineup today.
Jon Lester is looking for the first 20-win season of his career. Lester equaled a career-high 19 wins last Sunday at Wrigley. Lester has a chance at becoming the fifth left-hander in Cubs history to win 20 games.
With a win this afternoon, Jon Lester would be the first Cubs’ southpaw to win 20 games since Dick Ellsworth in 1963. Ellsworth was 22-10 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Dick Ellsworth, Hippo Vaughn (1914-15, 1917-19), Jack Pfiester (1906) and Jake Weimer (1903-04) are the only four southpaws to post 20-win seasons with the Cubs.
Joe Maddon is going with his usual Lester Lineup today. And he’s expected to have ‘the varsity’ team on the field as long as needed today in order to put Lester in the best position to win 20 games.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Javier Baez 3B, David Ross C, Jon Lester P
Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman are also on the pitching schedule for today’s game.
Maddon will start the game with a bench of Willson Contreras, Miguel Montero, Tim Federowicz, Tommy La Stella, Munenori Kawasaki, Matt Szczur, Chris Coghlan, Albert Almora Jr. and Jorge Soler.