With just one more win this afternoon, the Cubs can complete the sweep of the Cardinals and severely damage their chances in the NL Central.
Here’s the group to try it:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alex Avila, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jose Quintana, P
Today’s Cardinals starter, Lance Lynn, has been pretty brutal against righties this season, allowing just a .250 wOBA in 98.1 innings pitched. And that’s not just a random blip on the radar, because the same split is obvious throughout his career.
Fortunately, lefties actually handle Lynn quite well (.343 wOBA), and the Cubs have five guys batting from the left side today (including backup catcher Alex Avila giving starter Willson Contreras a break the day before an off day, which Joe Maddon loves to do).
In fact, he loves to do it so much, he did the same for Javy Baez, who’s started nearly every single game since Addison Russell went down at the beginning of August. And that means that Russell is making his return to the starting lineup. Hopefully, he picks up right where he left off yesterday, when he went deep in a pinch hit appearance late in the game!
Not unlike Contreras’ first couple of starts back, I doubt Russell stays in this whole game, but, depending on the score, you might see Mike Freeman come in as his replacement, instead of Baez. I have to imagine Maddon really does want to give Javy a nice, two-day breather.
Okay, this could be a big one for the Cubs today. Let’s see if they pull it off. And, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).