The Cubs managed to come back and win the game in extra-innings last night – thank you, Kyle Schwarber! – but they have one more big one today. They need to win against Sonny Gray and the Reds this afternoon to avoid yet another series loss to the Reds.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Victor Caratini, C
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, 2B
- David Bote, 3B
- Yu Darvish, P
The right-hander, Sonny Gray, does technically have reverse splits this season, but it’s not exactly a coup for right-handed hitters (.242/.321/.358). The righty, Albert Almora, also technically has reverse splits this season, but his work against righties isn’t particularly strong, either: .262/.298/.439. And yet, Almora is the Cubs leadoff hitter today, with an overall slash line of .249/.286/.402.
Almora has had some success against Gray in the past (3-4, HR), so maybe there’s something there about he sees him or how he matches up against his arsenal, in particular, but … that is a painfully small sample. I don’t know man. I’d love to ask Maddon about this one … I just don’t know if I’d actually like the answer.
Beyond that, Kyle Schwarber is getting a day off, immediately following three straight games with a home run, and he’s replaced in left field by Kris Bryant. David Bote back fills Bryant at third base and Addison Russell replaces Robel Garcia at second.
Martin Maldonado caught last night, so he wasn’t really going to be an option today – and Darvish has pitched well with Victor Caratini behind the plate – but I was really interested in the Darvish/Maldonado battery. Maybe next time.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).