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Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox preview, Saturday 7/15, 1:20 CT

The Cubs look to even up their series against the visitors from Boston.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday notes...

  • POST-ALL-STAR GAME: The Cubs had won their previous six first games after the All-Star Game before last night’s loss. Since 2000, they now are 15-8 when returning from the break: 10-3 at home and 5-5 on the road. In all games of their first series after the break, they are 48-26, .649, including a sweep of four games and six sweeps of three. They have won 16 series that followed the break and lost 6. They have been swept only once. In their first 10 games after the break from 2000-22, they were 125-95, .568. They were 8-2 in 2009 and 2017, 7-3 in 4 seasons and 6-4 in six seasons, for a total of 12 years with a winning record. They went 5-5 in six seasons, leaving only four years in which they lost more than they won: 4-6 in 2006, 2008 and 2015, and 3-7 in 2014. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • HE’S HOT: Cody Bellinger, last 15 games since June 25: .446/.475/.714 (25-for-56), four home runs, 14 runs scored.
  • LIKING THE OTHER LEAGUE: Mike Tauchman has reached safely in each of his last 13 interleague contests dating to May 30 of this season.
  • GOOD PITCHING: The Cubs return from the All-Star break with two pitchers in the top-five of N.L. ERA qualifiers for the first time since 1963. Justin Steele’s 2.56 ERA ranks second in the N.L. while Marcus Stroman’s 2.96 ERA ranks fourth. In 1963, Dick Ellsworth’s 2.02 ERA ranked fourth and Larry Jackson’s 2.07 ERA ranked fifth. (H/T: Elias)

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Red Sox lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. James Paxton, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After a really good start this year, Marcus Stroman’s last three starts have been... not so good, with a 7.71 ERA, 1.714 WHIP and seven walks in 14 innings.

Hopefully the extra rest — he hasn’t pitched in nine days — will help.

The last time he faced the Red Sox was September 21, 2021, when he was with the Mets. A lot of those guys aren’t on the Red Sox anymore. Most current Red Sox have just a handful of at-bats against Stroman. Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez have homered off him.

James Paxton missed almost all of the last three seasons (all but six starts) with various injuries. Then he suffered a hamstring injury in Spring Training and missed more than a month of this season.

The 10 starts he’s made this year have been pretty good, though, with a 2.73 ERA and 0.982 WHIP and only 14 walks in 56 innings.

In his 10 MLB seasons he has never faced the Cubs. The only Cub who has faced him more than a handful of times is Trey Mancini (3-for-14, two home runs).


Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. You can find out if Marquee is available via a provider in your area here.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today.. Gameday game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Red Sox site Over The Monster. If you do go there to interact with Red Sox 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.