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Padres face Cubs in Free Game of the Day

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Two dynamic outfielders — one in a new uniform — will meet under the lights at Wrigley Field. And you can watch for free on MLB.TV at 7:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Soto is off to a slow start in 2023, hitting just .198, but he leads the Majors with 22 walks, and his on-base percentage is a solid .369. He’s part of a formidable lineup that includes Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and offseason acquisition Xander Bogaerts. While the Padres’ offense overall has struggled, Bogaerts hasn’t, hitting .330 with a .417 OBP and .545 slugging percentage so far this year.

But the Padres will face a tough test in Cubs left-hander Justin Steele, one of baseball’s best pitchers so far in 2023. Steele has pitched to a 1.44 ERA — fifth in the Majors this season — and has struck out 24 batters in 25 innings.

Steele will be backed by a Cubs lineup anchored by Bellinger, the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and 2019 NL MVP, who came over from the Dodgers in the offseason. The Cubs’ bats have been strong early on: Patrick Wisdom has hit nine home runs; and Nico Hoerner, Ian Happ, Seiya Suzuki and Bellinger are all hitting over .300. Dansby Swanson, another free-agent add, is just shy of that mark with a .299 average.

The Cubs will face Padres left-hander Blake Snell, who is 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA so far this season but pitched to a 3.38 mark in 2022. The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner with the Rays, Snell is in his third season with San Diego.

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