We have a dedicated post on Albert Almora coming up here shortly, and it looks like it’ll be well-timed, given tonight’s starting lineup:
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Ian Happ, RF
- Tyler Chatwood, P
Although I will say, tonight’s start for Almora is not entirely inconsistent with anything Joe Maddon has done since the start of the season. For his career, Braves’ starter Brandon McCarthy has been fairly split neutral – with a slight reverse-split – and that’s actually been exaggerated further here in 2018:
Versus Lefties: .365 wOBA
Versus Righties: .414 wOBA
All season long, Almora has grabbed starts against reverse-split right-handers (as a a sort of training-wheel development plan) and it’s mostly worked out – but no more spoiling that post.
Elsewhere, Javy Baez bats fifth once again (for the fourth consecutive game), and he’s followed by Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, and Ian Happ. Happ is in right field tonight, with Jason Heyward still on the disabled list, so you have a pretty fully-formed prospect-y lineup out there.
Indeed, of the eight position players, five were drafted by the Cubs (Javy Baez, Albert Almora, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ), one was an international signing (Willson Contreras), one was traded for when he was still a prospect (Addison Russell), and I’m pretty sure Anthony Rizzo has always been a Cub – since birth, I think – and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. The only way this lineup could be any better is if Kyle Hendricks was starting instead of Tyler Chatwood, but we’ll take what we can get.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:35 CT).