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Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers preview, Sunday 6/16, 6:05 CT

The Cubs go for a win over the best pitcher in baseball this year.

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Happy birthday to former Cubs star Kerry Wood, who turns 42 today. (42? How can that be possible?)

Notes for Sunday:

  • HITLESS WONDERS: Saturday night marked the first time in franchise history that the Cubs won a game at Dodger Stadium with three hits or fewer.
  • TONY THE SLUGGER: Anthony Rizzo last night hit his 19th homer, already only six short of his 2018 season total. Last year he hit his 19th homer on August 21 in the team’s 124th game. He is currently on pace for 44 homers and 118 RBI in 2019, both of which would exceed his current career highs (32 homers three times, 109 RBI twice).
  • HANGING IN THERE: Despite setbacks in four of six games this trip, the Cubs began Sunday tied for first place in the N.L. Central. They are 8-5 (.615) in their last 13 games and are 27-19 in their last 46 games starting April 27 to go from an even 12-12 record to their current 39-31 mark.
  • HOMERS, NOT IN THE GLOAMING: On Friday, Kris Bryant hit his 122nd big league home run, tying Jody Davis for 18th on the franchise’s all-time home run list. And Javier Baez is just two homers short of becoming the 23rd player in club history to reach 100 homers.

Lastly, if the Cubs win this game they will be 18-18 vs. the Dodgers since returning to contention in 2015 (not including the 2016 and 2017 NLCS).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Dodgers lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to do this pitcher preview a bit differently than usual.

Jose Quintana is having a decent season, pretty much in line with what he’s been with the Cubs since he was acquired two years ago from the White Sox. He’s had several pretty good starts this year, though his last four aren’t in that category (5.48 ERA, 1.313 WHIP).

Now how can those numbers compete with Hyun-Jin Ryu? Remember when people said it would be impossible to replicate the season Jake Arrieta had in 2015?

Ryu is doing that, only his numbers are better than Jake’s were. Ryu’s season ERA is 1.36 in 13 starts. He’s leading MLB in ERA, ERA+, walks/nine innings and BB/K ratio and leads the N.L. in WHIP, 0.802. His last nine starts: 0.82 ERA, six runs in 65⅔ innings, 0.746 WHIP, opponents BA .196.

Q is good, but defeating Ryu will be very, very difficult. Oddly enough, the Angels managed to beat the Dodgers in Ryu’s last start, after he was lifted having allowed one run in six innings. The Angels beat up on the Dodgers’ bullpen. That might be the way to win tonight.

Today’s game is on ESPN. Since the Cubs are on Sunday Night Baseball again, Sara and Andi have created another bingo card for you!

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA. If you do go there to interact with Dodgers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

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.