The Chicago Cubs will try to kick off a new winning streak on the road tonight, starting a new series against the Cardinals.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Albert Almora, CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Jose Quintana, P
Interesting to see Addison Russell sitting in favor of Ben Zobrist (by way of Javy Baez heading to shortstop). I think, all else equal, Joe Maddon would *like* Ben Zobrist to establish himself as at least a semi-regular leadoff hitter, given the skill set. What that will mean for others’ playing time remains to be seen.
Ian Happ also sits, despite the plausible platoon advantage. Albert Almora is really going to get a chance to grab that regular center field job and run with it. I say it’s fair.
Javy Baez heads all the way back down to the eight-spot against a tough righty, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s in part to help push him back toward a more disciplined approach. He was so good down there at the start of this year, spitting on pitches out of the zone as opposing pitchers tried to force him to get himself out ahead of the pitcher spot.
We don’t have a ton of data about the new Miles Mikolas, in terms of splits, but he’s been a traditional split guy so far this year, and very tough on righties. In his younger, pre-Japan days, the opposite was true.
To be sure, he’s handled all batters pretty well so far in his second go-around in the States, so brace yourself for folks being all, “Who is this no-name guy dominating the Cubs?” He’s actually been good, and scouts believed this was possible after he reinvented himself.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:15 CT).