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Chicago Cubs vs. Tampa Bay Rays preview, Monday 4/18, 6:40 CT

The Cubs play their first Wrigley night game of 2022.

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Monday notes...

  • TAKING THE LEAD: The Cubs have held a lead in each of their first nine games this season, the longest such stretch since leading in each of their first nine contests in 2016, The last time the Cubs held a lead in each of their first 10 games to start a season happened in 2010.
  • DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: The Cubs have recorded at least one double in 22 consecutive games dating to September 19 of last season. That’s the longest doubles streak for Chicago since a 23-game stretch from September 26, 2007-April 20, 2008.
  • SEIYA: Seiya Suzuki is the first Cub to hit safely in his first eight career MLB games with an at-bat since Andy Pafko started his career hitting safely in his first nine games with an at-bat as a Cub in 1943. He ranks second in the NL with a .543 OBP, .960 SLG and a 1.503 OPS and is third in the league with 11 RBI and tied for third with a .400 BA.
  • THOSE OTHER GUYS: Tonight the Cubs begin their 20-game 2022 interleague schedule. They enter 2022 with a 210-205 record in interleague play, including a 111-98 record at Wrigley. The Cubs have out-scored AL clubs 1,928 to 1,878 and out-homered them 485 to 463, and look to improve on last year when they went 6-14 in inter-league play, including a 1-9 mark at home.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rays lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Shane McClanahan, LHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, here we go again. Kyle Hendricks has had one good start and one bad one this year. All we can do is hope that this one, and starts going forward, are good. His next two outings will be at Wrigley, where he has generally had more success than on the road (though not last year).

He has never faced the Rays and no one on their active roster has more than six career AB against him (Brett Phillips is 3-for-3), so perhaps that will be to his advantage.

Shane McClanahan throws hard, as you can see by the graphic below. His average changeup speed is higher than Hendricks’ average fastball speed. Yikes.

He was the Rays’ first-round pick in 2018 and wound up fast-tracked to the majors despite losing, as every minor-league player did, the 2020 season.

He has never faced the Cubs and only three Cubs (Clint Frazier, Yan Gomes, Jonathan Villar) have ever faced him.

About the only thing I can say here is that the Cubs are 3-0 (small sample size alert!) against LH starters so far in 2022. They have an .887 OPS vs. LHP compared to a .777 OPS vs. RHP (again, small sample size). Perhaps that will help.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Rays site DRays Bay. If you do go there to interact with Rays 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 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, 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.