The Cubs need to beat the Reds tonight if they’re going to win this (very winnable) home series against Cincinnati.
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s contest (which I’ll be at!):
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alex Avila, C
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P
For his career, as I’m sure you could’ve guessed by the makeup of this lineup, Homer Bailey has been worse against lefties (.335 wOBA) than righties (.318). Now, to be sure, those splits are reversed here in 2017 (.366 wOBA v. lefties, .474 wOBA v. righties), but neither number projects much confidence anyway.
So, Joe Maddon has absolutely loaded the lineup with lefties, including a struggling Ben Zobrist at the very top. We talked about Zobrist at length earlier today, so I’ll avoid that for now, and focus instead on the lineup (but be sure to check that one out).
Looking at that lineup, you’ll notice that there are only two natural right-handed hitters, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, other than the starter John Lackey. And Baez and Bryant have both been pretty great in the second half, so this looks like a pretty strong lineup overall.
Other than all of that, Alex Avila is back in there behind the plate after a day off yesterday, though with the day game tomorrow, I’m guessing he’ll get tomorrow off too. Ian Happ has also been out of the starting lineup for a while, but I suspect he’ll hit his way back into it soon enough. Hopefully, beginning tonight.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:05 CT).