The Cubs kicked off the series on the right foot yesterday, now they’ll go for the win today.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- David Bote, 3B
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Ian Happ, CF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Victor Caratini, C
The Cubs continue to find ways to keep Ben Zobrist’s bat in the lineup, sticking him in left field tonight, in part, because Kyle Schwarber is sticking at DH. Ian Happ, then, moves over to center field, where he continues to draw more starts from a struggling Albert Almora Jr., and David Bote covers third for Kris Bryant.
Addison Russell is sticking at short tonight, despite a little slump of his own, but he did go 2-4 last night and has seven hits in his last seven games, so maybe he’s starting to see the ball better too.
Tonight’s starter, Brad Keller, has also handed righties their butts this year (.274 wOBA) so keeping Almora on the bench and stuffing Russell near the bottom of the order makes a fair bit of sense.
And finally, Willson Contreras is getting the night off, which I find to be interesting timing with an off-day on Thursday. I’m not saying he doesn’t need a rest, but I would have thought Joe Maddon would’ve waited until tomorrow so he got two days off in a row. Perhaps he liked Contreras’ matchup against Heath Fillmyer tomorrow (.376 wOBA versus righties) more than his chances against Keller today. Yeah, thats probably it.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:15 CT).