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Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies preview, Friday 4/20, 7:40 CT

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The Cubs are going to have to battle the weather again.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Sigh. Once again, you will need this tonight.

The forecast is not encouraging.

Most likely, if tonight’s game is postponed, they’d play a doubleheader this weekend rather than try to squeeze it into a common off day, although, oddly, the teams have a common off day May 3 — which is just after the Rockies’ series at Wrigley week after next.

Fun Javier Baez note: With one more triple this month, Javy would become only the sixth Cub since 1913 to record four triples before the end of April and the first since 1926. The other five: Hack Wilson (1926), Bernie Friberg (1923), Wilbur Good (1915), Vic Saier (1915) and Heinie Zimmerman (1913).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rockies lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Jon Gray, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks has made three starts this year, two pretty good ones and one not so good. He’d probably tell you he’s not happy with his walk rate, 3.7 per nine innings. That’s actually not terrible, but prior to 2018 Kyle’s walk rate was 2.2 per nine, so for him it’s not good.

On May 10, 2017 at Coors Field, Hendricks threw 6x innings, allowing three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts, which is actually very good for Denver. Current Rockies are hitting .261 (23-for-88) against Kyle with two home runs (Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez).

More on Kyle at Coors: Tonight marks Kyle’s fifth career start in Coors Field. He has a 3.28 ERA (9 ER/24⅔ IP) in his first four starts in Denver. Only seven active pitchers with at least four starts have a lower ERA in Coors Field than Kyle. Also, Hendricks’ .598 OPS against in Denver is second lowest in Coors Field among active pitchers with at least four starts, trailing only Los Angeles’ Kenta Maeda (.571).

Jon Gray, who was selected in the 2013 draft by the Rockies one pick after the Cubs chose Kris Bryant, is not having a good year at all. He has made one good start (seven shutout innings against the Padres) but the other three have been various shades of awful. His FIP of 3.64 suggests the 6.23 ERA is a bit of bad luck, but the 1.523 WHIP says maybe he actually is this bad. On the other hand, it’s just four starts.

Gray has never faced the Cubs during the regular season, but he did throw three shutout innings against a team of mostly Cubs regulars the final weekend of spring training, March 24 at Mesa.

In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here's how it works.

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.