Well, we’ll see if this one actually ever gets underway (thanks, rain), but here’s the Cubs lineup for Game 2 against the Braves.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ian Happ, CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Jose Quintana, P
As you can see, there are a number of changes to the Cubs lineup today, including Ian Happ leading off against a lefty (Albert Almora must still be sick, because this would’ve definitely been his start), Ben Zobrist in left field instead of Kyle Schwarber, and Victor Caratini at first base (as Anthony Rizzo continues to come back from a lower back injury).
But the most notable change – and one that’s not directly related to an injury – is Javy Baez moving WAY up in the batting order to the two-spot. Now, don’t get me wrong, if Anthony Rizzo was healthy, Kris Bryant would bat second and Rizzo would bat third, as usual, but there were other options. Specifically, I’d have thought to see Ben Zobrist batting closer to the top, like he has in recent days.
Today’s Braves starter, Sean Newcomb, is a lefty, against whom Baez is much stronger, but he’s also a split-neutral guy for his short Major League career. Maybe Maddon believes in the matchup, maybe he’s just looking to give Javy some confidence after a nice week at the plate (hey, his 128 wRC+ is technically third best on the team, behind only Bryant and Schwarber). Whatever it is, I think I like it. Let’s see whatcha got, Javy.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).