The Chicago Cubs won yesterday, which means they can take the series today. Here’s the group that’ll try.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- David Bote, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jon Lester, P
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
If, in April, you told me that I’d see a lineup with Anthony Rizzo leading off, Javy Baez batting second, Jason Heyward, of all people, batting third, and some kid named David Bote hitting cleanup, I’d have told you you were crazy.
But if you then told me that the actual strangest and most immediate takeaway from the lineup is that Albert Almora was in it again, I’d have, I don’t know, probably said you were crazy again (I’m not very imaginative).
But it is somewhat notable that Almora is out in center today, because a lot of his playing time has been gobbled up by Jason Heyward and Ian Happ – and that’s with Happ covering third for Bryant on multiple occasions. In any case, he’s in there today and we wish him the best of luck (EDIT: forgot to mention that Almora is likely in there today for his defense, because Jon Lester’s fly ball rate has exploded this season).
And he’s gonna need it. Tanner Roark, Nationals starter of the day, has held righties to just a .232/.282/.344 slash line (.273 wOBA) for his career. And while Almora has hit righties better this year than he has in the past (.281/.321/.377), that’s dropped considerably since the start of July: .136/.190/.153 (.161 wOBA).
Kyle Schwarber is out in left field today, Addison Russell and Javy Baez are your double-play combo up the middle, and Willson Contreras is once again behind the plate. A win today would be especially useful with Max Scherzer looming tomorrow. So let’s see it.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ close to game time (3:05 CT).