With a win tonight, the Cubs can sweep their third consecutive series, heading into a crucial four-gamer against the Brewers.
Here’s the lineup for that contest:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jon Jay, DH
With a lefty on the mound for the Rays today*, each of Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber are riding the bench. That means that the switch-hitters, Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ, are covering the corners tonight. Interestingly, Maddon went with Jon Jay as the DH instead of the left fielder. Albert Almora, as expected, will play center.
*Blake Snell’s splits, by the way, are quite dramatic:
Versus Lefties: .243 wOBA
Versus Righties: .330 wOBA
So this lineup makes a good deal of sense (and remember, Jon Jay is a reverse split batter, so getting his stick in the lineup makes plenty of sense too (especially because Rene Rivera and/or Victor Caratini are the most obvious right-handed DH options remaining on the bench)).
And with that outfield alignment, you’ll find that Javy Baez and Addison Russell have been reunited in the middle infield, with Bryzzo flanking them on either side. I have a feeling that, all things equal, we’ll be seeing a lot of this particular infield alignment in the coming weeks and a lot more next season.
Let’s see if the Cubs can make it eight in a row with a win tonight, and, as usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:10 CT).