Later tonight, the Cubs are starting another four-game series – which is really a three-gamer plus a makeup double-header tomorrow – and here’s how they’ll line up.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jon Lester, P
With a righty, Homer Bailey, on the mound tonight, it’s no surprise to see Albert Almora absent from the lineup (whether you like it or not) or to see Ben Zobrist take over the leadoff spot. What is a little surprising, however, is how far down Kyle Schwarber is in the batting order.
Bailey has fairly significant lefty (.404 wOBA)/righty (.336 wOBA) this season and for his career, so I’m a little surprised to see Schwarber so far down (especially given how well he does against right-handers). And that’s all especially true when you consider that flipping Schwarber with Russell would’ve extended the lefty/righty balance a spot further, which is something we know Joe Maddon loves to do.
And then there’s the fact that Addison Russell, not Javy Baez, is batting fifth tonight. Baez had slid down in the lineup rather quickly after his hot streak cooled off, but he had stuck in that 5th spot for a while now. Replacing him with anyone – let alone not a lefty – against Bailey tonight is interesting.
To be fair to Russell, he is slashing .306/.386/.510 since April 29th, but Baez has been mostly killing righties this season (147 wRC+) while Russell has struggled (83 wRC+) against them. Then again, Baez is 2 for his last 16, so maybe Maddon thinks he’s getting ahead of a slump? I’m not sure.
In any case, the lineup isn’t too surprising, relative to Joe Maddon, so, I guess that’s that. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:10 CT).