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Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers preview, Saturday 4/8, 3:05 CT

The Cubs go for two in a row over the visitors from Texas.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Saturday notes...

  • SEIYA LATER: Seiya Suzuki begins a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa Saturday night as they visit St. Paul. If things go well it’s possible Suzuki could rejoin the Cubs next weekend in Los Angeles.
  • BLANKINGS: The Cubs recorded their second shutout of the year Friday (also Opening Day vs. the Brewers). It took them until Game 15 to do that last year (April 9 over the Brewers, April 21 over the Pirates).
  • INTERLEAGUE INTRIGUE: The Cubs are 217-219 vs. American League teams since interleague play began in 1997, so if they can win the next two games against the Rangers, they’ll move to the .500 mark all-time.
  • HE’S HOT: Since starting the season 0-for-11, Cody Bellinger is batting .417/.500/.667 (5-for-12) over his last three games with a home run, two walks and just one strikeout.
  • HE’S NOT: Miles Mastrobuoni is batting .143 (2-for-14) this year, both singles, with no walks and six strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rangers lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Martin Perez, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Steele has gotten off to a fine start this year, throwing six shutout innings against the Brewers with eight strikeouts April 1 at Wrigley Field.

He has never faced the Rangers and the only current Ranger who has ever faced him is Robbie Grossman (0-for-1). In the early going this year the Rangers are hitting slightly worse (.688 OPS) against LHP than RHP (.782 OPS), so perhaps that will be to Steele’s advantage.

Martin Perez was a longtime Rangers starter, left for a few years, then returned in 2022 and had a solid season for them (5.0 bWAR, an AL All-Star nod).

He allowed one run in 5⅔ innings with seven strikeouts in his first 2023 start, April 2 against the Phillies.

Current Cubs are batting .297 (11-for-37) against Perez and the Cub who’s seen him most is Trey Mancini (7-for-21, three walks).


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also being carried by FS1 (no blackouts).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Rangers site Lone Star Ball. If you do go there to interact with Rangers 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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.