The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (boy, I haven’t said that in a while … it still feels GOOD) have won five games in a row coming into today’s contest, and have kicked their overall record up to 14 games above .500.
Here’s the group that’ll try to make it six and 15:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Rene Rivera, C
- Jon Lester, P
Jon Lester makes his triumphant return to the mound against the Braves this afternoon, and he’ll pitch to Rene Rivera. The Cubs do have the left-handed catcher Alex Avila on the bench against a righty this afternoon, but 1) he can’t catch everyday, 2) Rivera’s arm and defense will help Lester keep runners honest, and 3) Lucas Sims, the Braves starter, actually has reverse splits (meaning he’s tougher against lefties).
So, yeah. I can dig it, Joe.
With Addison Russell still out for another 3 weeks (or so), Javy Baez continues to man shortstop, and this time Ben Zobrist will be his double-play partner, batting fifth. Other than that, there’s not much to discuss. Jon Jay leads off and plays center, Kyle Schwarber, who’s had a great second half (11 HRs, 123 wRC+ in the second half), bats second, and Bryzzo cleans it up, as usual. Let’s go Cubs.
And as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).