The excitement level of that title is only half in jest, as it is generally cool to see David Bote cleaning up against the Royals in today’s finale.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- David Bote, 3B
- Tommy La Stella, DH
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, CF
- Addison Russell, SS
In the 30 games he’s played since joining the Major League ranks, David Bote has slashed .344/.436/.547 (161 wRC+). That’s a slugger’s share of production (and then some), so he gets a sluggers spot in the lineup today. I am sure there are very few Cubs fans complaining and I hope he gets a ton of chances to continue impressing.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Joe Maddon is sticking with Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, and Javy Baez (not in that order) at the top. Those three have been up there for a while and don’t figure to move anytime soon – at least not while Kris Bryant is still out. Speaking of Heyward, he hasn’t quite been hitting for any power lately (just three extra-base hits since the All-Star break), but he is still hitting for average, taking his walks, getting on base, and refusing to strike out.
His overall production has been close to league average since the middle of July, but there’s still value in a high-contact, high-OBP bat near the top. Hopefully, the power returns soon.
Tonight will be the third to last time the Cubs get the benefit of a DH this season (that is, until the World Series, of course) and Joe Maddon has picked … Tommy La Stella. Ok. I suppose there’s a righty on the mound, but it’s not like he throws that hard (fighting off heat is one of La Stella’s many skills) and he actually has reverse splits, even if it is in a small sample. Shrug. Perhaps it was simply about getting him a start. Perhaps it’s about Ben Zobrist still hurting.
Or maybe the Cubs just know lefties are destined to crush this guy, Fillmyer. Aside from starting La Stella, the Cubs are also starting Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber in the corners and Ian Happ, not Albert Almora, in center. Almora used to draw a lot of starts against these reverse-split righties, but he’s on the bench tonight. I’m guessing it’s a little from columns A, B, and C.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:15 CT).