- The Cubs have won a season-high six straight games, and are 13-3 in their last 16 games, and 15-4 in their last 18. And, after starting the season 1-6, the Cubs have won 17 of 23 games to find themselves at their current 18-12 record, a season-high six games over .500.
- The Cubs enter tonight’s game with a plus-43 run differential, tops in the National League and second in the majors behind Tampa Bay (+46, pending their afternoon game result).
- Anthony Rizzo’s home run Friday was the 199th of his career and 198th as a Cub. That ties him with Hank Sauer for ninth place on the all-time Cubs list. Next up: Bill Nicholson, 205.
- The Cubs enter tonight’s game leading the N.L. in runs per game (5.67), second in MLB to the Rangers (5.77, pending their afternoon game result). And, the Cubs lead the N.L. in OPS (.804) entering Sunday’s action.
- Lastly, of course, if the Cubs win this game they will sweep the Cardinals and be in first place in the N.L. Central.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP
Jose Quintana, last four starts: 1.69 ERA, 0.825 WHIP, 27 strikeouts (and only three walks!) in 26⅔ innings.
This is the Q the Cubs thought they were getting two years ago. Hope he sticks around.
Q has made eight career starts vs. the Cardinals and has posted a 3.86 ERA and 1.524 WHIP, a bit higher than his career norms, but current Cardinals hitters are batting .339 (41-for-121) against him. A lot of that is Dexter Fowler, Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina . Those three combined are hitting .383 (18-for-47) against him with three homers. Stopping those guys tonight will be key.
Adam Wainwright became a free agent after 2018 and the Cardinals re-signed him to a $2 million base salary with significant incentive clauses. Given his injury history and that he’ll turn 38 later this year, this could be his last MLB season.
He has 45 career appearances (36 starts) against the Cubs, both of those figures his most against any team. He’s been a worthy opponent all this time. The Cubs have hit him reasonably well, as he has a career 4.01 ERA and 1.290 WHIP against him. But current Cubs are hitting only .215 (35-for-163) against him.
This is an intriguing matchup, then.
Today’s game is on ESPN.
SB Nation game preview
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The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.