In a few hours, the Chicago Cubs will begin their biggest series of the year, a three-gamer against the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, at Wrigley Field.
Here’s the lineup they’re going with:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jon Jay, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- John Lackey, P
Given the way Ben Zobrist has been swinging it lately and how well Willson Contreras has looked in his return, this lineup looks pretty fantastic from where I’m standing. And with the night off last night and an off-day Monday, I’m willing to bet that Zobrist leads off all three games this weekend, and I’m very much okay with that.
Contreras, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. It’s entirely possible that, after playing in parts of two games and getting a day off yesterday, the Cubs will let him play all nine innings today and all three games this weekend, but it’s far from a guarantee. In fact, with three straight righties on the mound for the Cardinals, I’m willing to bet we see Alex Avila start at least one of these games (and Contreras may even leave early once again). I’m also very much okay with this.
Despite Kyle Schwarber’s rough night at the plate on Wednesday, Joe Maddon is sticking with his left-fielder, confident that his production in the first (3-3, HR, BB) and third (2-3, 2B) games of the Mets series is closer to what we should expect this weekend. If ever there was a weekend to explode offensively, Kyle, this is it.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).