The Chicago Cubs knocked around one of baseball’s more talented starting pitchers to the tune of six runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. Now, they’ll take their hacks against a lefty who is making his first start of the year.
Here is the lineup that will go for three-in-a-row and hopefully close out June on a high note:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Addison Russell, SS
- David Bote, 3B
- Tyler Chatwood, P
Welcome back Tyler Chatwood, who makes his first start since returning from paternity leave.
The lineup that has Chatwood’s back features four players with a wRC+ of 115 or better against left-handed pitching. That group is led by Willson Conteras, who has had a nice year against lefties slashing .288/.391/.492 with a 137 wRC+ in 69 PA. No Cubs batter in today’s lineup has a better hard-hit rate against southpaws than Javy Baez’s 41.1%, who has four home runs, four doubles, and a triple in 71 plate appearances.
There isn’t much out there on Adalberto Mejia, who is making his first big league start of the season. Mejia made 21 starts in 2017, and right-handed hitters slashed .283/.365/.461 against him in 367 plate appearances. The Cubs will send out five right-handed hitters (and the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist) against Mejia this afternoon in hopes that recent history repeats itself.
We’ll have more in the Pre-Gamin’ closer to first pitch (1:20 pm CT).