The Cubs and Twins played each other at Target Field just three years ago, June 8-10, 2012. The Twins won two of the three games. Overall since interleague play began, the teams have split 24 games, 12-12.
It's a sign of the change for both teams that there's been almost complete roster turnover for both. Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Travis Wood and James Russell are the only current Cubs who were on the team in 2012 (and Russell was traded and then returned).
For the Twins, they've got a few more holdovers from 2012: Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dozier, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien and Glen Perkins.
But in general, these are two teams that have been re-made over the last three years. Both jumped into contention somewhat unexpectedly this year. There's more in the series preview, if you haven't yet read it. Incidentally, after everyone in baseball played the last four days against a team from the other league, the Cubs and Twins are the only interleague set this weekend.
Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Denorfia RF, Schwarber DH, Russell 2B
Dozier 2B, Rosario RF, Mauer 1B, Plouffe 3B, Nunez SS, Suzuki C, Vargas DH, Escobar LF, Buxton CF
Today's Starting Pitchers
Kyle Hendricks, after a slow start, has been really good over his last five starts: 2.25 ERA, 0.9375 ERA, just four walks in 32 innings. He has never faced the Twins or anyone on their roster before. Hopefully, that's a good sign.
Phil Hughes has never faced the Cubs. He's had a couple of good starts this year but mostly, his ERA has settled into the mid-4 to mid-5 range and he's given up a lot of hits -- 102 in just 82⅔ innings. He's offset that by walking only nine this year. So he appears to be pitching to contact -- if Cubs hitters see strikes, hopefully they'll hit them. Only five current Cubs have ever faced Hughes; they are 5-for-17 against him, which probably means nothing.
Today's game is on WGN. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf).
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.