The Cubs are facing an old friend in the form of Chris Archer tonight, but they’ll do it without their best player, Kris Bryant, who gets a scheduled day off.
Here’s the Bryant-less lineup for tonight:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Ian Happ, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 3B
With Bryant out, and Addison Russell back in the fold, Javy Baez takes over third base duties for the night. It’s nice to see Baez and Russell both in the lineup at the same time, but I can’t wait to see more and more of those two up the middle. Of course, Ben Zobrist has been raking lately, so there’s really no arguments against having him at second bast tonight.
As I mentioned, Chris Archer is starting for the Rays tonight, and he’s had some fairly significant lefty/righty splits this season:
Versus Lefties: .332 wOBA
Versus Righties: .283 wOBA
So, in response, Maddon has loaded the lineup with four lefties and two switch-hitters, meaning that just three natural righties – Baez, Russell, and Willson Contreras – will hit from his preferred side of the plate. Beyond that, Kyle Schwarber is DHing and Jason Heyward is out in right.
Let’s see if that’s enough for the Rays. And, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time.