The Cubs have done well for themselves here in the second-half of the season, but the real test begins over the next six days.
On Friday, the first-place Washington Nationals will enter Wrigley Field for a three-game weekend set, but first it’s the powerful Diamondbacks squaring up against the Cubs in the friendly confines.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jon Lester, P
It’s an atypical outfield tonight, as each of Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber are taking the day off against the left-hander Patrick Corbin. Corbin’s pretty damn effective against fellow lefties this year (.281 wOBA against), so the move makes plenty of sense.
In Heyward’s place in right, you’ll find part-time second baseman Ben Zobrist. And that means that Javy Baez (and his .361 wOBA v. LHP) is covering second base. In Schwarber’s position in left, you’ll find the youngster Ian Happ. His .323 wOBA against left-handers isn’t quite as inspiring as Baez, but he still presents a significant upgrade over Schwarber’s .299 wOBA mark.
With Happ in left and Jon Jay/Jason Heyward/Kyle Schwarber on the bench, that means the lefty-killer Albert Almora is covering center field. Almora continues to absolutely DOMINATE lefties this season (.419 wOBA), so he’ll continue to draw starts anytime the Cubs face one.
Other than that, your Cubs’ infield looks normal, with Bryzzo at the corners and Russell covering shortstop. And the battery is a familiar Willson Contreras, clean-up hitter, and Jon Lester, in the nine-hole.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:05 CT).