Well, the Cubs are trying something a little different tonight, at least compared to our knowledge of their plans before the season. Take a look.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Albert Almora, CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Jon Lester, P
With the lefty Cody Reed on the mound tonight (.413 wOBA against righties, .313 wOBA against lefties), Kyle Schwarber comes out of the lineup, while Baez and Heyward swap spots at the bottom of the order. None of which is particularly shocking.
The unexpected part, however, is Ben Zobrist leading off instead of Albert Almora, who was twice given the chance to lead off against lefties in Miami, but wound up going just 2-9 with a walk and a strikeout in ten plate appearances. Obviously, there’s only so much you can read into this, and given the way Ben Zobrist has started the season (.364/.500/.455; 21.4BB%, 7.1K%), I don’t think we’ll hear many arguments. Almora’s day is still to come, but the Cubs could really use a win, and, right now, that might mean Zobrist is needed at the top.
Other than that, there’s really nothing too surprising, like I said. And the best part is that the Cubs have two switch-hitters on their bench (Ian Happ, Victor Caratini), plus a powerful pinch-hitter in Kyle Schwarber and guy who loves to make contact, Tommy La Stella, also waiting in the wings.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (5:40 CT).