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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Sunday 7/1, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for the three-game sweep!

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

You might remember this; I posted it in Saturday’s game recap.

The Cubs franchise record for most consecutive games scoring 10+ runs is five. It’s been done only once, June 1-6, 1930, in that crazy offensive season when the entire National League hit .303 and the Cubs scored 998 runs, which is the post-1900 franchise record for runs. (Don’t get excited and think this year’s team is going to do that; four N.L. teams scored 900+ runs in 1930 and the Cubs didn’t even lead the league. The Cardinals did, with 1,004.) The MLB record for consecutive games scoring 10+ runs is six, set by the 1929 Giants.

That 1930 Cubs streak is the only time in franchise history where the Cubs have more than three straight 10+ run games.

After the offensive explosion of the last three days, this year’s Cubs now lead the N.L. with 409 runs, which is a pace for 818. That’s really good — it would be their third straight year scoring 800+ runs, something the Cubs franchise hasn’t done since 1929-30-31. This year’s Cubs also lead the N.L. in runs per game at 5.05.

Now, could they score 10 or more today? With the weather forecast again calling for temperatures in the low 90s and the wind blowing out... maybe. You’ll note that forecast has a chance of storms, but they should hold off until after the game is over.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

The Twins lineup was not available at posting time. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Twins lineup.

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Lance Lynn, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins

Jon Lester had an outstanding June: 5-0, 1.13 ERA, 0.844 WHIP. He’s got a real good chance of being named National League Pitcher of the Month when that award’s announced in a day or two, and might follow that up with an All-Star appearance, which would be his fifth. If the Cubs stay on their current rotation, Lester could throw Friday or Saturday against the Reds, which would mean an inning the following Tuesday at the All-Star Game could work — unless the Cubs want him to start the first game out of the break against the Cardinals.

He has little experience against the current members of the Twins. He has faced them once as a Cub, June 20, 2015 at Target Field, where he threw 6⅓ innings and allowed one run. That’d work today. Only two current Twins have more than a handful of at-bats against him: Joe Mauer, .333 (8-for-24, three doubles, six walks) and Brian Dozier (2-for-11).

Lance Lynn! Ol’ pal! Where have you been?

Oh, right. You signed with the Twins and... you’re not having a very good year, are you?

Lynn’s walk rate of 5.4 per nine innings would be big baseball news if not for Tyler Chatwood’s walk rate, but 5.4 is by far the worst walk rate of his career. So are a lot of his other numbers. The overall results are better since a disastrous April (8.37 ERA in five starts). Since May 1: 3.27 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, though the walk rate is still a bit high at 3.9.

Lynn has a long, long history against the Cubs: 19 appearances (18 starts), 99⅔ innings, 4.06 ERA, 1.334 WHIP, 11 home runs. Anthony Rizzo, in particular, has hit him well: 11-for-33 (.333), four doubles, two home runs.

Oddly, in the three years Lynn and Lester were Cubs/Cardinals opponents, they faced each other only once: May 6, 2015 in St. Louis. Lester: seven innings, one earned run. Lynn: six innings, five earned runs. I’d go for a repeat of that today.

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.