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Chicago Cubs vs. Tampa Bay Rays preview, Wednesday 4/20, 5:30 CT

The Cubs go for the series win.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

In case you have not already heard, tonight’s game time has been moved up to 5:30 p.m. CT.

That was done because the weather forecast doesn’t look great for tonight, though hopefully the earlier start will allow them to get the game in. Thus I present the radar for your reference:

Wednesday notes...

  • SEIYA: While Seiya Suzuki’s nine-game hitting streak came to an end last night, he did walk three times for the first such game in his MLB career. That raised his OBP to a MLB-leading .581 and gave him an 11-game on-base streak, tied with Art Williams (1902) and Tony Taylor (1958) for the longest such streak to start a Cubs career.
  • PATTY SMARTS: Patrick Wisdom’s pinch-homer last night was the third of his career and first since June 28, 2021 at Milwaukee. It also gave him homers in back-to-back games for the first time since August 27-28, 2021 against the White Sox. Over his last five games, Wisdom is hitting .533/.588/1.267 (8-for-15, 1.855 OPS) with five doubles, two homers, seven RBI, four runs scored and two walks.
  • MORE PATTY SMARTS: Since he was called up to the Cubs last May 25, Wisdom has belted 30 homers (including one in each of his last two games). The 30 home runs in that span rank tied for third in the NL with Bryce Harper and trail only Pete Alonso (34) and Joey Votto (31).
  • THE SCHWINDY CITY: Frank Schwindel is on an eight-game hitting streak in which he is batting .273/.294/.515 (9-for-33) with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and only three strikeouts.
  • RANKINGS: Through Tuesday’s games, the Cubs rank second in MLB with a .349 OBP, fourth in MLB with a .437 SLG and third in MLB with a .786 OPS. All that is good for a 126 OPS+, which is second-best in MLB (Guardians, 139)

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rays lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Drew Rasmussen, RHP

USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK

Marcus Stroman has one good start and one bad one on his 2022 game log so far this year. Let’s take the Coors Field outing as an aberration and hope this one goes better.

As a player in both the AL East and NL East, Stroman has lots of experience against the Rays. He has a 4.57 ERA and 1.419 WHIP in 15 career starts against them. His one start against them last year, May 16, 2021 at the Trop, wasn’t too good: five runs in six innings.

Kevin Kiermaier is the Ray who’s faced him most: 9-for-33 (.286) with two home runs.

Drew Rasmussen came to the Rays last year in the Willy Adames trade and had a good year in Tampa both out of the pen and starting. As you can see by the graphic below, he’s another hard thrower.

He’s made two starts this year and neither one has been all that good. This will be his second straight start in the city of Chicago, as he allowed the White Sox three runs in five innings on the South Side last Friday.

He has never faced the Cubs and only three Cubs (Willson Contreras, Yan Gomes, Ian Happ) have faced him, and all three for just one at-bat. So, the advantage could be to Rasmussen.

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.