Tonight, the Chicago Cubs must ward off elimination for the second time if they hope to keep their World Series chances alive.
I’d put the odds at better than 50/50 that they do it.
Here’s the lineup that’ll try.
Chicago Cubs Lineup v. The World (Josh Tomlin):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
A really significant change right off the bat, with Kyle Schwarber not only returning as the DH as expected, but he slots into the two-hole, which had been the province of Kris Bryant for a good long while. I don’t have a problem with getting Schwarber more plate appearances, but you do have to wonder about his ability to run the bases efficiently ahead of several more batters who will be looking to drive in runs. I’d call this a gamble, albeit a slight one.
Down the order, Javy Baez moves to the 9th spot, which, given the match-up, probably makes sense.
Hopefully this group sees Josh Timlin’s just-off-the-plate pitches a little better tonight than they did in Game Three.
We’ll have a full Pre-Gamin’ for you closer to the biggest Cubs game of your life.