The Chicago Cubs kicked things off on the right foot last night, and have a chance to guarantee a series split this evening with Kyle Hendricks on the mound.
Here’s the group that’ll try it.
- Jon Jay, CF
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Hendricks, P
If you’re wondering why Kyle Schwarber and Alex Avila are both not in the lineup tonight, it could be because the opposing starter, Luis Castillo, has had some pretty serious reverse splits here in his rookie season (meaning that he’s been tougher on lefties than righties).
Even still, I somewhat expected Joe to start Avila all three night games this week, before sitting him in the day game (after a night game) on Thursday in favor of Victor Caratini. Instead, it seems pretty likely that this series will flip back and forth between the two all four games.
Tommy La Stella draws another start tonight (though he was a last minute fill-in yesterday), as Ben Zobrist deals with a sore neck and Ian Happ deals with some struggles at the plate. Even still, the continued absence of Happ is beginning to be a bit odd. Especially when you consider (and I’ll admit I was not aware of this at all) his 120 wRC+ in the month of August.
Could more carefully selected starts be the reason he’s been better lately? Of course, but I still think he’l eventually work his way back into more playing time before the season is through.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:05 CT).