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The Chicago Cubs get a fresh start today, after a long week void of baseball that ended in a loss to the worst team in the league.

Indeed, the Cubs are taking on the second place, but surging, Pittsburgh Pirates, in their home stadium for the first time since the 2015 NL Wild Card Game.

They’ll even face the same pitcher they did last October, in Gerrit Cole.

Chicago Cubs Lineup v. PiratesĀ (Gerrit Cole):

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Tommy La Stella, 3B
  3. Kris Bryant, LF
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  6. Addison Russell, SS
  7. Matt Szczur, RF
  8. David Ross, C
  9. Jason Hammel, P



Obviously, tonight’s lineup is quite different from what we’ve been used to seeing. Jason Heyward gets a break in favor of the hot-handed Matt Szczur, Jorge Soler gets a break against a tough righty in favor of also hot-handed Tommy La Stella, David Ross continues to sub in for the injured Miguel Montero (15-Day DL), and Addison Russell is all the way up in the sixth spot of the lineup.

It’s a very different lineup, yes, but … do you really hate it? Against a tough righty, it makes sense for Soler to sit in favor of the lefty La Stella. And, in addition to having a hot bat right now, Szczur can cover a lot more ground in the spacious PNC outfield than Soler ever could. Moving Russell up won’t cause many complaints, as he’s been swinging it pretty well of late. And how can you argue with Ross’ defense in the past several games he’s started?

It’s not the Cubs’ A-lineup, that’s for sure, but I think it’ll play well tonight.



There’s nothing wrong with utilizing your bench, especially when it has been so good.

Your full Pre-Gamin’ will come closer to game time tonight. You can check in on the Series Preview for the Pirates series here.




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