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Cubs Positioned to Play Spoiler in Toronto

The Rogers Centre on July 30, 2009 in Toronto. The Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium in downtown Toronto famous the world over for its fully retractable roof.

After losing 9-7 to the Milwaukee Brewers in Sunday’s series finale, the Chicago Cubs will finish the month of August with a three-game interleague series in Toronto.

Justin Steele and Adrian Sampson will be placed on the restricted list due to their vaccination status, and their replacements have been selected.

While the Cubs have dropped two consecutive games and the series in Milwaukee, the playoff-contending Blue Jays face much more pressure against the Northsiders after being swept by the fourth-place Los Angeles Angels. Toronto scored just three runs on 17 hits in the series and came out on the wrong end of Saturday’s pitching duel between the reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani and 2022 All-Star Alek Manoah.

Every game matters for the Blue Jays as they look to maintain their position 1.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for the third American League Wild Card slot. With the 2022 season heading into the home stretch, the Cubs will have the opportunity to play spoiler, especially if the Jays’ bats stay cold.

Here are the game times and matchups for the upcoming series:

Monday, August 29

Game Time: 7:07 PM ET

Starting Pitchers: Javier Assad (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jose Berríos (9-5, 5.28 ERA)

Assad pitched four scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in his MLB debut on August 23.

Tuesday, August 30

Game Time: 7:07 PM ET

Starting Pitchers: Marcus Stroman (3-6, 4.10 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (9-9, 3.15 ERA)

Stroman will pitch at Rogers Centre for the first time since being traded by the Blue Jays to the New York Mets in 2019.

Wednesday, August 31

Game Time: 7:07 PM ET

Starting Pitchers: Cubs pitcher TBD vs. Mitch White (1-4, 4.24 ERA)

White has allowed 12 earned runs on 24 hits in four starts as a Blue Jay and has not gone deeper than five innings in any of those outings.

What to Watch For

The Cubs are lucky they will not have to face Manoah in this series. They will need deep outings from Assad and Stroman to spare the bullpen for a possible Johnny Wholestaff game in Wednesday’s finale.

Nico Hoerner is playing like a future Cubs All-Star and has been worth more wins above replacement (4.0 bWAR) in 2022 than his Toronto counterpart Bo Bichette (1.4 bWAR).

Games will be televised on Rogers SportsNet in Canada or Marquee Sports Network in the Cubs’ broadcasting region. Enlightened fans know to follow all Cubs games with Cubs Hall of Fame broadcaster Pat Hughes on 670 The Score in Chicagoland or through the MLB app worldwide.

Featured Image: The Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 30, 2009. The Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose stadium in downtown Toronto famous the world over for its fully retractable roof. By manlio_70 / Shutterstock.com.

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