The Chicago Cubs are starting a pretty important series against the team tied for second place in the NL Central this weekend. And if they can manage to squeeze out two wins, the Brewers chances at the division may all but evaporate.
Here’s the group that’ll try to make that happen:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Alex Avila, C
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P
Kyle Schwarber is sitting against a righty again (he sat against Gerrit Cole on Wednesday, after sitting against the lefty, but inexperienced swing-starter Steven Brault on Tuesday), and I’m starting to really wonder why he’s not starting more often. His second half production is fine (114 wRC+), plus he’s mashed eleven homers, a triple, and three doubles in the second half and is walking at a 10.6% clip.
I know you’ll say that his strikeout rate is high, and it is, but given the overall package and the alternatives on the bench, I much rather see Schwarber’s bat in there more often than we have lately. At whose expense, I do not know, but I’m fairly confident I want to see it more.
Jon Jay is leading off today, as he does, and pretty much everything after him is business as usual: Bryzzo bats 2-3, Ben Zobrist cleans up, Alex Avila catches and bats fifth, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward make up the other 2/3 of the outfield, and Javy Baez is at short.
Let’s see if Lackey can give the Cubs another great start, and, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:05 CT).