It’s a good thing the Cubs took games one and two against the Giants to open the weekend series, because they’ve guaranteed (at least) a split heading into match-ups against two of the NL’s best pitchers (Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto).
The former will take the ball for the Giants this afternoon, however, and he’ll do so against an all-righty lineup (not anymore, see the update below). Indeed, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo get a breather today, against Bumgarner who is tough on everyone, but especially so on fellow lefties.
He’ll pitch to Buster Posey behind the plate.
Opposing Bumgarner and the Giants, is Jake Arrieta – making this one of the coolest match-ups of the season. Not only are Arrieta and Bumgarner two of the best pitching pitchers in baseball (both fighting for the NL Cy Young on playoff hopefuls), they’re also two of the best hitting pitchers in baseball. In fact, they are the two best hitting pitchers in baseball:
- Arrieta: .268/.317/.446 – 102 wRC+, 0.9 WAR
- Bumgarner: .167/.247/.333 – 58 wRC+, 0.7 WAR
Arrieta will pitch to Willson Contreras behind the plate, once again.
Update: Jorge Soler has been scratched from the Cubs lineup with an ingrown toe nail, so Tommy La Stella steps in, playing third and batting ninth (pushing Jake up to eighth and the rest of the infield around a little). The new lineup and defensive alignment is listed below.
First pitch is at 1:20 CT, and it should be a good one!
Chicago Cubs (87-47) at San Francisco Giants (72-62), 1:20 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 2.84 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 3.70 xFIP; 2.48 K/BB
Giants: Madison Bumgarner (L): 2.49 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 3.55 xFIP; 4.22 K/BB
San Francisco Giants Lineup:
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Angel Pagan, LF
3. Buster Posey, C
4. Hunter Pence, RF
5. Brandon Crawford, SS
6. Joe Panik, 2B
7. Brandon Belt, 1B
8. Eduardo Nunez, 3B
9. Madison Bumgarner, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Kris Bryant, 1B
3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
4. Addison Russell, SS
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Javy Baez, 3B
7. Matt Szczur, LF
8. Jake Arrieta, P
9. Tommy La Stella, 3B