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Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros preview, Tuesday 5/16, 7:10 CT

The Cubs look to even up their series in Houston.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday notes...

  • WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY?: When the Cubs got off to an 11-6 start, their batting slash line as a team was .286/.351/.443 and their ERA was 3.24. Since then, their slash line is .250/.331/.410, their ERA is 4.50 and their record is 8-16, equivalent to 54-108 for a full season. Their worst 24-game stretch of the Modern Era was 3-21, in 1954. They have had 4-20 stretches in nine seasons, most recently 2021, and 5-19 stretches in 18. Their last 6-18 stretch was August 5-31 of last year. Since the Great Sell-Off in 2021, the Cubs’ record is 114-147, a .437 winning percentage. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • KEEPING THE STREAK ALIVE: The Cubs have scored at least one run in each of their first 41 games in 2023, just the third time in the expansion era (since 1961) the team has gotten on the board in each of its first 41 contests. The longest season-opening streaks in this span: 47 games in 1995 and 43 games in 2020. The Cubs also scored a run in their last 10 games of 2022, so are on a streak of 50 games without being shut out. The franchise record is 127, set in 1958-59.
  • HE’S HOT: Christopher Morel has hit in all six games he’s played in since his recall and is batting .346/.346/.846 (9-for-26) with a double and four home runs. FWIW, that gives him 15 home runs in 160 at-bats combined between Iowa and the Cubs this year.
  • HE’S NOT: Nick Madrigal, 10 games played in May: .211/.231/.237 (8-for-38), one double, no walks, five strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Insert “other split squad” joke here.

Astros lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Cristian Javier, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Steele had a bit of a rough outing last time against the Cardinals, but overall his 2023 season has been top-notch.

He has never faced the Astros and there’s just one current Astro who has faced him (Mauricio Dubon, 1-for-3). Perhaps that will be to his advantage.

Cristian Javier is yet another pitcher in the long line of Houston starters who seems to do well every time out.

In his last start, May 10 vs. the Angels, he threw six innings, allowed two runs and struck out 11.

Repeat after me: “Clearly, we are doomed.”


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on TBS (no blackouts). TBS announcers: Don Orsillo, Ron Darling and Jeff Francoeur.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Astros site The Crawfish Boxes. If you do go there to interact with Astros 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.