[Brett: Bump? I’ll just lightly edit the Pre-Gamin’ for yesterday’s rained out game, since the lineups are basically the same and the starters are the same. Also, because our basement flooded for the second time in less than a year, so I’m a bit preoccupied at the moment.]
The Chicago Cubs have won seven games in a row against very, very good teams in the Pirates and Nationals, and now they move onto the San Diego Padres … you already know how this is going to end, right?
It would be a difficult task to look at the two lineups below, including each team’s starting pitcher, and claim that the favor is not clearly in the Cubs hand. However, you totally don’t ever hear that this is baseball and anything can happen. So I’ll write it:
This is baseball, and anything can happen!
Still, the Cubs lineup does look fairly fantastic, and, like Brett said in
today’s yesterday’s lineup post, what you see below has increasingly become lineup A. Javier Baez is better than Kris Bryant defensively at third base and Kris Bryant is better defensively than Jorge Soler in left field. Given Baez’s hot start and Soler’s rather cool one, the decision sort of makes itself, doesn’t it?
Jon Lester is taking the ball for the Cubs today, and he’ll look to continue a hot start that has him with a sub 2.00 ERA (1.58 to be exact), a 24.7% strikeout rate, and a mere 5.8% walk rate. Although, if you recall, he’s gotten out of two bases loaded, no out jams over his last two starts, which has led to an unbelievably (and unsustainably) high strand rate of 96.2%. Even the Cardinals are saying, “Okay, now, come on.”
Lester will be opposed by righty starter Cesar Vargas. Vargas, 24, had long been in the Yankees minor league system, before finally making his Major League debut this season with the Padres. Through three starts (16.1 IP) Vargas has gotten the results (1.10 ERA) despite some relatively shaky peripherals (4.24 FIP). With any luck, the Cubs will be able to exploit his high walk rate (13.4%) and let him pitch himself into trouble, without striking out too much – something that Vargas rarely does (17.9% K-rate).
A win today would make it eight in a row!
San Diego Padres (13-19) at Chicago Cubs (24-6), 7:05 CT on WPWR, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 1.58 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 2.97 xFIP; 4.22 K/BB
Padres: Cesar Vargas: (R): 1.10 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 4.58 xFIP; 1.33 K/BB
San Diego Padres Lineup
1. Jon Jay, CF
2. Wil Myers, 1B
3. Matt Kemp, RF
4. Derek Norris, C
5. Melvin Upton Jr., LF
6. Brett Wallace, 3B
7. Jose Pirela, 2B
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Cesar Vargas, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Kris Bryant, LF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Javier Baez, 3B
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. David Ross, C
9. Jon Lester, P