The Cubs are still rolling through their easy, late-season schedule, having now won four games in a row against the Pirates (3) and Braves (1). One more win this afternoon will extend their record to a season-high 14 games over .500.
Let’s see if this group can do it:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Alex Avila, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P
Every day I see Alex Avila in the Cubs’ lineup I remember how lucky they are to have him. With respect to Rene Rivera, Victor Caratini, et al, Avila is playing like a legitimate starting catcher this season, and the Cubs found themselves without one in a hurry.
Today, Avila will bat sixth in the lineup and square up against Braves’ righty Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz comes into Friday’s contest having allowed lefties (like Avila) to hit .309/.386/.498 off him this season, while Avila comes in hitting .280/.398/.504 against righties (like Foltynewicz) in 2017. That’s a great matchup …
… And one the Cubs are fortunate to have up and down the lineup, as Joe Maddon has crammed four lefties (and two switch hitters) into the order this afternoon. Hopefully, that’s enough to make the Cubs five-game winning streak a reality.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).