Kris Bryant will get another-nother-nother day to get over his shoulder issue, although we may soon find out that he’s headed to the DL. UPDATE: He is.
Here’s the group to face righty Ross Stripling:
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Ian Happ, CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jon Lester, P
The Cubs just faced Stripling a week ago, and although he didn’t walk anyone in his six innings of work, the Cubs did notch eight hits and three runs. Would that be good enough tonight? Could the Cubs duplicate that if it were?
Stripling is not a huge splits guy (before this year, he was actually a reverse split guy, in fact), so you kinda just start whomever you want to see out there defensively and with his arsenal in mind. To that end, I’m a little surprised to see Ian Happ get the start in center field, given how many screaming shots Lester gave up to these Dodgers last time out. All else equal, I think you’d want to see Almora’s glove out there. Must be some other reason to like the matchup, or to rest Almora (two lefty starters on tap).
Javy Baez takes over third base this time around, and bats third, in service of the lefty-righty thing. I’m basically agnostic about that so long as the right guys are getting the most at bats. Right now, frankly, it’s hard to argue with those top three getting the most at bats.
We’ll have more in the Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (9:10 pm CT).