Tonight, the Chicago Cubs are squaring up against (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, and (arguably) the toughest remaining team in the playoffs. The Dodgers may be without their star shortstop, but they will still be quite a challenge, especially at home.
Here’s the lineup for Game One of the NLCS:
- Jon Jay, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jose Quintana, P
So you’re probably wondering why a lefty like Kyle Schwarber, who struggled against lefties this season (74 wRC+), is in a lineup against arguably the toughest left-handed pitcher on the planet, Clayton Kershaw. Well, there’s this …
Kershaw’s 2017 Splits:
Lefties: .244/.275/.459 (.308 wOBA)
Righties: .200/.239/.331 (.245 wOBA)
Against Kershaw this season, lefties have actually managed to outhit righties, especially in the power department, where they’ve been hitting homers at a far greater rate. Relatedly, when you have a pitcher like Kershaw on the mound, stringing hits together to create offense is often difficult, but a homer can come at any time. And, so, we get Schwarber in left and versus Kershaw tonight.
Similarly, Jon Jay is in the lineup tonight, though, he, too, is a reverse-split guy, so he should actually have a pretty nice matchup (well, as nice as facing Clayton Kershaw can be).
With Albert Almora also in there, Jay takes over right field, while Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist ride the bench. Ian Happ continues to be an afterthought in the starting lineup this October.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:08 CT).