The Cubs are *finally* back in action today – after a rain out preceded an off-day – and I couldn’t be more ready. Give me some dang baseball.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ian Happ, LF
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Albert Almora, CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jon Lester, P
Well how’s that for some belief in the young Ian Happ?
With a lefty on the mound today – one with traditional, but not too significant splits – the Cubs are going with Ian Happ in the leadoff spot. Happ is a switch-hitter, so he’ll still have the advantage at the plate, but 1) he’s better as a lefty against righties and 2) Albert Almora was previously a candidate to leadoff against all lefties this season (at least until his slow start this spring).
But even if we didn’t think Almora would lead off (given the way his spring went, it’s not much of a surprise), I did think Ben Zobrist might’ve gotten the nod.
Like Almora, Zobrist is still in the lineup, but he’s not leading off. But unlike Almora, Zobrist has gotten off to a blazing hot start this year, so this is some serious credit to/belief in Happ (i.e. that the Cubs went with him over Zobrist).
Obviously, with the new-look outfield, Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward are riding the bench tonight, but represent some awesome potential late-game replacements. Whether you need a pinch hitter (Schwarber) or a defensive replacement/base runner (Heyward), the Cubs should be well-set.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:10 CT).