Well, within the microcosm of this four-game series against the Pirates, the Cubs are in a tough spot. A split on the road is never a terrible outcome, but to get there, the Cubs will have to beat both of Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.
Here’s the group going against Cole today:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Tommy La Stella, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Alex Avila, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jose Quintana, P
With Cole’s pronounced splits (.231/.292/.379 v. Righties, .280/.318/.506 v. Lefties), it’s no surprise to see the Cubs loading up with lefties. The only mild surprise in there is Jon Jay getting the start over Kyle Schwarber, but Jay has technically been the better hitter this year, and with the desire to have his bat at the top of the order, I won’t scream about it.
It’s good to see La Stella getting a start in a situation like this, as he’s simply hit all year. Anthony Rizzo returns to the lineup after getting yesterday off.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:05 CT).