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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Friday 5/12, 7:10 CT

The Cubs come into this series as a sort-of equal to the Twins, as both are contenders.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Today’s roster moves: Here

Friday notes...

  • OFFENSIVE PROWESS: The Cubs’ team OPS going into tonight is .773, which is 100 points higher than it was after 37 games last year. Their current slash line is .269/.343/.430. A year ago, it was .231/.310/.363, for .673. Their batting average is the highest through 37 games since 2011, when they hit .279. Their on-base percentage was .360 in 2016, the only time it has been higher than this year since it was .371 in 2008. Their slugging percentage was .452 in 2019, .432 in 2016 and .430 in 2010. Their OPS was .802 in 2019, .792 in 2016 and .810 in 2008. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • THE DANSBY FILES: Dansby Swanson (2-for-5, two RBI) recorded his fourth multi-hit, multi-RBI game of 2023 and had six extra base hits (five doubles and a home run) in 13 at-bats against the Cardinals. That made him the second Cubs shortstop in the modern era (also, Ernie Banks, May 22-24, 1958 and August 15-17, 1961) to record six extra base hits over a three-game span. (H/T: Elias Sports Bureau)
  • HE’S HOT: Christopher Morel, since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa: 4-for-8 (.500), a double, a home run (1.000 SLG).
  • HE’S NOT: Eric Hosmer, last four games since May 3: 2-for-13 (.154), five strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Twins lineup:

Also of interest for tonight and this series:

Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Sonny Gray, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Smyly has been consistently good this year.

The Twins are a team he hasn’t faced much — not since 2016, in fact, when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.

So most of the current Twins have not seen him. Current members of the Twins are a small sample size .238 (10-for-42) against him with no home runs and 13 strikeouts, though, so that’s good. Hope it continues.

Hello, old friend Sonny Gray! The Cubs saw a lot of him when he was with the Reds, but he hasn’t faced them since 2021, and there are a lot of new Cubs since then.

Gray is off to an excellent start to his 2023 season, though he allowed three runs in five innings to the Guardians in his most recent start — that accounts for fully half of the runs he’s allowed all year.

One of the new Cubs has hit him particularly well. Trey Mancini is 7-for-15 lifetime vs. Gray (.467) with two doubles and a home run. Overall current Cubs are batting .329 (25-for-76) vs. Gray. Ian Happ (4-for-10) has also homered off him.


Today’s game is on Apple TV+ (how to watch). Announcers tonight: Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play), Dontrelle Willis (analyst), and Russell Dorsey (field reporter). Former MLB umpires Brian Gorman and Dale Scott will join to break down the rules and reviews during the game.

Apple says you can get two free months of Apple TV+ by going here.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Twins site Twinkie Town. If you do go there to interact with Twins 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.