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Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals preview, Friday 8/20, 1:20 CT

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Can the Cubs extend their winning streak to three?

Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Friday notes:

  • SCHWINDY CITY UPDATE: Frank Schwindel has, in just the last week, lifted himself into rare company in Cubs history. He currently has at least one extra-base hit in seven consecutive games, during which he is batting .464/.500/1.000 (13-for-28) with six doubles and three home runs. There are only four longer such streaks in Cubs history: eight games by Augie Galan (1935), Chuck Klein (1935) and Mark DeRosa (2008) and nine by Derrek Lee (2007). The MLB record is 14, held by Paul Waner (1927) and Chipper Jones (2006).
  • ORTEGA!: Since the All-Star break, Rafael Ortega is hitting .390/.450/.600 (39-for-100) with seven doubles, a triple and four home runs. A lot of this is likely due to an unsustainable BABIP of .486, but enjoy it while it lasts.
  • IT’S HAPP-ENING: Ian Happ, last seven games: .308/.357/.692 (8-for-26) with a double and three home runs. Keep that up, Ian, and you’ll be an important contributor in 2022.
  • THE DUFFSTER: Matt Duffy, last 10 games: .424/.441/.455 (14-for-33) with a double and five runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Royals lineup:

Also of interest:

Zach Davies, RHP vs. Brad Keller, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Zach Davies has a 3.27 ERA in eight of his last 10 starts... oh, wait, you mean I can’t just eliminate the consecutive starts vs. the Rockies and White Sox in which he allowed 14 runs and five home runs in six innings?

Well of course you can’t do that. Wish we could, though.

Davies last faced the Royals in 2018 and there are only three players left on the entire KC roster who have ever faced him. So, maybe the unfamiliarity helps Davies.

That’s about all I’ve got. Good luck, Zach.

Statcast

Brad Keller had three pretty good seasons for the Royals from 2018-20 but this year he has just been bad, with a 5.62 ERA and 1.686 WHIP in 24 starts. He is leading the AL in walks allowed with 59.

He has been a bit better since July 1: 3.61 ERA, 1.323 WHIP in seven starts. No current Cubs hitter has more than five at-bats against him.

So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Royals market territories).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Royals site Royals Review. If you do go there to interact with Royals 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.