The Cubs have eleven straight games to go before an off-day, and it continues tonight in Cincinnati. Here’s how they’ll line up for their first of four against the Reds:
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kyle Hendricks, P
You might be familiar with tonight’s starter, Matt Harvey, but probably not from his time with the Reds. Obviously, Harvey is only a shell of his former self, but it is worth pointing out that formerly dominant pitchers are ALWAYS a threat to spin a gem – even if they haven’t in a while.
Fortunately, Harvey has a bit of an obvious weakness this season, and that’s left-handed hitters:
Verus Righties: .313 wOBA
Versus Lefties: .393 wOBA
So, naturally, Joe Maddon slipped Ian Happ back into the lineup in favor of Albert Almora, which I know will frustrate some, but does make sense. Everyone needs rest, and Happ remains a valuable player who needs playing time in his own right.
To that end, it’s mildly surprising to see Javy Baez in there after jamming his thumb a bit yesterday, and with another lefty bat available in Ben Zobrist. Of course, Zobrist, too, needs periodic rest, so there you go.
We’ll have more in the Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:10 pm CT).