The weather forecast for this evening is a bit iffy, so here’s the local radar for your convenience:
- HISTORICALLY GOOD: Justin Steele’s ERA is 2.43; Marcus Stroman’s, 2.47. They are the first pair of Cubs starters with ERAs below 2.50 after at least 15 starts each in the team’s first 80 games of a season since 2016, when Kyle Hendricks was at 2.15 and Jon Lester, 2.44. Hendricks and Lester were the first such pair since 1945, when Ray Prim was at 2.34 and Claude Passeau, 2.47. The only earlier pair in the Live Ball Era was in 1933: Lon Warneke (1.94) and Charlie Root (2.46). Steele’s 2.43 is the lowest of any pitcher in either league, by .01 over Bryce Elder of the Braves. Framber Valez of the Astros, at 2.49, is the only other qualifying pitcher below 2.50. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- THAT OTHER LEAGUE: The Cubs went back over .500 vs. A.L. teams with Friday’s win, now standing 13-12. They will play 46 games vs. American League clubs this year. Next up after this weekend: A three-game series starting Friday in New York vs. the Yankees.
- RUN DIFFERENTIAL: The Cubs remain the only N.L. Central team with a positive run differential, +32. The Reds are -14, the Brewers -22 and the Pirates and Cardinals are both -31. Further, there are only four N.L. teams with a better run differential than the Cubs: Braves (+129), Dodgers (+68), Giants (+43) and Diamondbacks (+38).
- HE’S HOT: Nick Madrigal, last 14 games since June 13: .386/.460/.546 (17-for-44) with four doubles, a home run and five stolen bases.
Here are today’s particulars.
Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Tanner Bibee, RHP
As you surely know, Marcus Stroman left Sunday’s game in London with a blister issue. He threw a bullpen session Thursday and was declared ready to go today.
Apart from the London game, Stroman’s been generally outstanding all year. In his five starts previous to Sunday: 1.27 ERA, 0.867 WHIP, just one home run allowed in 42⅔ innings.
Stroman hasn’t faced Cleveland since 2019, so that’s largely irrelevant. Only a couple of current Guardians have faced him. Jose Ramirez is 6-for-23 (.261) against Stroman.
Tanner Bibee was Cleveland’s fifth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State Fullerton and was a Top 100 prospect before this season. He is making his 12th MLB start and his results have generally been good. He’s obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on their active roster. You can see his pitch usage chart below.
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). A reminder that if you subscribe to MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings, you can watch this game even if it’s not on the Fox affiliate in your market.
Please visit our SB Nation Guardians site Covering The Corner. If you do go there to interact with Guardians 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.