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Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins preview, Sunday 5/14, 1:10 CT

The Cubs go for the series win.

Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday notes...

  • YES, IT WAS AS BAD AS YOU THOUGHT: Saturday’s loss was the most lopsided loss ever by the Cubs against the Twins. Three of their previous 17 losses vs. Minnesota had been by eight runs: 8-0 in 1998 and 1999, and 11-3 in 2012. The Cubs have lost by more runs in only five other games against American League teams:

14 (18-4) at Yankees last season
12 (12-0) at home vs. Angels in 2010
12 (13-1) at White Sox in 2021
11 (13-2) at Angels in 2013
11 (13-2) at Royals in 2020

(Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)

  • HAPP-ENINGS: Ian Happ has posted a .492 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching this season, the best mark in the majors.
  • GETTING ON BASE: The Cubs have reached base via walk, hit or HBP 522 times this season, third-most among all clubs, trailing only Tampa Bay (548) and Boston (523).
  • BUT NOT BRINGING THEM IN: The Cubs lead MLB in runners left on base this year, with 301. One of the biggest reasons for this: The Cubs have 42 plate appearances with the bases loaded but have batted just .179 (7-for-38) with no walks, 13 strikeouts and three sacrifice flies in those situations.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Twins lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Louie Varland, RHP

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

There are 134 qualified starters in MLB as of today.

Marcus Stroman ranks 132nd in run support, just 2.4 runs per start.

That’s a good reason why his W-L record is 2-3 and the Cubs are 3-5 in games he has started. The good news is that over his first eight starts, he’s allowed more than two runs just once.

Stroman hasn’t faced the Twins since 2019 and not at Target Field since 2018. You’ll probably easily guess how many runs his team scored for him in that 2018 game.

Hopefully the Cubs can do better for Marcus today.

“Louie Varland” sounds like a guy who pitched for the 1949 St. Louis Browns. Not only is he a modern-day pitcher, his brother Gus is a reliever for the Brewers and Gus threw two scoreless innings vs. the Cubs in this year’s opening series at Wrigley.

Louie is making his ninth MLB start today. Last time out he held the Padres to one run in six innings. He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on their active roster. As shown below he’s got a pretty standard repertoire, mostly fastballs and cutters.


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

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.