The Chicago Cubs have just one series left in the first half of the season and they sit a game below .500. So, if they don’t sweep the Pirates, the best they can finish is .500.
But let’s take it one game at a time. Here’s the lineup for this afternoon:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Victor Caratini, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Eddie Butler, P
The Cubs are giving Willson Contreras a day off today, and he’ll be replaced by Victor Caratini behind the plate. Given how well Contreras has been swinging it lately (and how poorly the Cubs have in general), the swap is a necessary evil. Expect Contreras to be in there tomorrow and Sunday (and then a whole lot more in the second half).
Javy Baez is back on the bench, which may happen a bit more often now that Addison Russell, Jason Heyward, Kyle Schwarber, and Ben Zobrist are all back in action. The opposing starter, Trevor Williams, has actually been tougher on left-handers than righties this season, but the opposite is true for his career.
In any case, the Cubs are split pretty evenly with two switch hitters, three natural righties, three natural lefties, and a pitcher. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin closer to game (1:20 CT).
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 7, 2017