Rather than a one-off, get-him-going experiment, Kris Bryant in the leadoff spot is nearly becoming “a thing.” It was something we talked about quite a bit in the offseason, and as long as he doesn’t change his game (he’s currently working through a long-standing power-outage), I have no problem with this carrying forward for a while.
Here’s the rest of the group to face the Reds tonight:
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Albert Almora, CF
- Chris Gimenez, C
- Jose Quintana, P
The Cubs fact a righty in Luis Castillo with fairly strong splits, though even righties have gotten to him this year, and everyone is homering off of him. Castillo’s 1.96 HR/9 is the largest mark in the National League by a quarter of a dinger. If the Cubs don’t go deep off of him at least once tonight, they will have massively underperformed. Twice, even, should be borderline expected.
To that end, I do like that Castillo – who struggles against lefties – will have to face three tough ones in a row after Bryant. I’d even be fine if Schwarber were right after that, though I do understand the desire to break them up for later in the game. Still, I kinda like the idea of really putting the pressure on the opposing starter out of the gate. Never let him feel comfortable.
Chris Gimenez gets the start tonight behind the plate. Albert Almora is back out in center field, where he’s been for virtually all Jose Quintana starts, you’ll note.
We’ll have more in the Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:10 pm CT).