The Cubs are starting a four-game series against the Mets tonight, and here’s how they’ll line up for Game 1.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, CF
- Jose Quintana, P
Tonight’s opposing starter, Seth Lugo, has been slightly tougher on righties than lefties for his career, but the difference hasn’t been huge. And this season, it’s actually been reversed through his first 32.2 innings pitched, so it’s probably fair to say he’s pretty split neutral right now. Of course, all of his 32.2 innings this season have come out of the bullpen, so it’s difficult to say what kind of splits he’ll actually show tonight (again, my guess is fairly neutral) – of course, that doesn’t change the fact that lefties will have an easier time against him, for their own reasons/splits.
With all of that in mind, Joe Maddon decided to go with … not Albert Almora (I’m sure that’s the thing most of you noticed first). And that’ll be especially frustrating for most fans, I’m sure, considering that Ben Zobrist is in the lineup via second base, as Addison Russell gets the day off and Javy Baez slides over to short. In other words, even if Maddon really wanted to get Zobrist in there, there was still three outfield spots to fit Almora in. But again, even if you believe Almora is good against righties now (he is), you don’t want to take the bat out of Kyle Schwarber’s hands, Ian Happ has been killing it, and Jason Heyward has just posted back-to-back three-hit games – you just have to let him keep going, especially against another righty.
There’s a lot of baseball to be played this weekend (and season) so don’t stress about it. He’ll get his chances.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (6:10 CT).