When the Chicago Cubs face the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight from Wrigley Field in Chicago, Cubs fans will see something that they haven't seen in over 100 years - a world championship ceremony.
Cubs fans all across the globe are well aware that their team finally broke the 100-plus year curse last season by defeating the Cleveland Indians in a dramatic seven-game World Series. For thousand of Cubs fans at Wrigley Field tonight, and the even larger crowd watching on TV, it will officially sink in this evening when the Chicago Cubs are presented with their World Series rings and raise a World Series Banner at Wrigley Field. To say that the atmosphere will be electric is likely an understatement!
WGN-TV indicates that while the first pitch is scheduled for just after 7:00 p.m. Chicago time, fans are being advised to arrive early for a championship themed celebration.
The pregame festivities are expected to begin at 6:15 p.m., and will include ceremonial first pitches from the Ricketts family, a rendition of "God Bless America" sung by Julianna Zobrist and most notably the World Series banner raising ceremony. Add to that, several stars from the Chicago Cubs alumni like Ryne Sandberg and Fergie Jenkins will also be at Wrigley Field to make it even more special.One other thing to keep an eye out for at tonight's Dodgers vs. Cubs game will be the uniforms. The Chicago Cubs will wear white uniforms and caps with gold lettering and trim. Hey, it has been a century since the Cubs were the best team in baseball, so they can get away this move without any flack!
Cubs manager Joe Maddon is excited to finally play a game at home, and raise the World Series banner, but after all of the hype fades a bit, Maddon wants to focus on becoming the first team to repeat as champions since the New York Yankees back in 2000.
"I love banner-raising," manager Joe Maddon said Sunday after the Cubs' 7-4 road victory over the Brewers. "Rings are wonderful, but I love banner-raising. That's symbolically there all the time. Every time a kid shows up at the ballpark, he'll see that banner. "Hopefully, we'll be able to hang more."The Cubs will send left-hander Jon Lester to the hill for the second time this season in tonight's home opener. Lester was great in his first outing vs. the St. Louis Cardinals last week, allowing one run on seven hits in five innings in a no-decision outing. Lester is 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA in his five career regular season starts against the L.A. Dodgers.
L.A. will counter Lester with Alex Wood. Wood's last start against the Cubs was almost a year ago on May 30, 2016. On that day Wood pitched well, allowing just two runs on seven hits in a 2-0 Dodgers loss.
It is early in the season, but this is a big series for both squads. After all, these are the two teams that many MLB experts are expecting to possibly meet up in the 2017 NLCS this fall.
Las Vegas odds makers have the Chicago Cubs listed as the favorites at -150, with the comeback on the L.A. Dodgers +130. There is no over/under run total currently set for tonight's game.
MLB fans can catch all of the action for tonight's big Dodgers vs. Cubs game nationally on ESPN. The game will also be streaming live through Watch ESPN. If you happen to be on the go this evening and still want to keep up with all of the action, be sure to download the Watch ESPN app to your tablet or smartphone. First pitch for the L.A. Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs game is scheduled for just after 8 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]