After shaking things up at the top of the order yesterday (… and scoring eight runs in the process), Joe Maddon has decided to let his new-look lineup ride.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kyle Hendricks, P
First of all, if you showed me this lineup back in 2014-2015, I might have a mini-heart attack. It looks like one of those dream lineups we used to jot down in the comments, before getting rattled with a less friendly versions of “You should really be more realistic!” But I digress.
Indeed, after scoring eight runs yesterday, the Cubs lineup looks exactly the same, with the exception of Kyle Hendricks starting in place of Jon Lester and batting ninth. HOWEVER, I don’t believe it looks the same *just* because it seemed to work yesterday.
Sure, Joe Maddon might like what Javy Baez is doing at the plate right now – and he might have been near the top because of that anyway – but Jon Gray, today’s Rockies starter, also shares something in common with Luke Weaver, yesterday’s Cardinals starter.
And that’s a reverse lefty/righty split for his career:
Versus Lefties: .310 wOBA
Versus Righties: .328 wOBA
That gives extra purpose (and reason) to leading off with Albert Almora and keeping Javy Baez near the top. Both of those guys need more chances against righties, and, so, it makes sense to start them against the righties who have reverse splits. And all of that goes double given Ben Zobrist’ back soreness and Ian Happ’s recent struggles.
But hey, if these guys continue to succeed, then who knows … maybe they’ll solidify their spots in a new default lineup. I know that make plenty of you happy.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:40 CT).