Thanks to four consecutive series wins (Orioles, Braves, Cardinals, White Sox), the Cubs have positioned themselves well for this weekend’s series against the Brewers.
Even if the unthinkable happens and they’re swept in Milwaukee, they’ll still be just a game and a half out of first place in the Central. If, on the other hand, they sweep the Brewers, the Cubs can be as much as 4.5 games up on Milwaukee by Sunday.
Here’s the group that’ll try:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jose Quintana, P
As expected, Javy Baez is making his return to the starting lineup after a couple days off to clear his head from an 0-5 with five Ks performance on Tuesday. In case you missed it, we discussed his season and mini-break yesterday, so you’ll find everything you need to know about the two days off right here.
As for today, I’m happy to remind you that Baez is still crushing lefties this season (.375 wOBA, 129 wRC+). As is Albert Almora Jr., who’s slashing .349/.446/.556 off southpaws, good for a 161 wRC+. And with both of those guys in, it’s the switch-hitters Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ who are taking a breather, while Jon Jay bats first and covers left.
Jose Quintana is making his third start for the Cubs, and, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:10 CT).