Mike Trout is not in the Angels lineup this afternoon, which is probably a good thing for the Cubs’ chances of winning, but I can’t say I’m not disappointed. I want to watch Mike Trout at Wrigley Field and when I go to the game tomorrow, he better be out there in center.
Anyway, here’s the Cubs lineup for the first of three against the Angels:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- David Bote, 2B
- Mark Zagunis, RF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Cole Hamels, P
Against the left-hander Tyler Skaggs, the Cubs are deploying a completely different lineup than the one we’ve seen over the last few days. Albert Almora is in there and leading off (as he does against almost all left-handers), and so is David Bote and Mark Zagunis. With those three guys in the game, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and Daniel Descalso are all hitting the bench.
As you can imagine, Skaggs has been tougher on lefties than righties (though no egregiously so), which gave Maddon an opportunity to get some of the more part-timey and right-handed bench bats a chance to start.
With that said, Kyle Schwarber is getting another opportunity to start against a left-hander, which I think is great, given how good he’s looked at times this year, but it is worth pointing out that he struck out in four straight at-bats last night leading into this somewhat tough matchup. Hopefully, he can have a nice day at the plate and squash this mini-slump before it turns into something worse.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).