Chicago Cubs Lineup: Time to Face The Scherzer

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: Time to Face The Scherzer

Chicago Cubs

To win this weekend’s series against the Nationals, the Chicago Cubs will have to go through one of the best pitchers in baseball, while he’s arguably at the top of his game.

Here’s how they’ll attack him.

Chicago Cubs Lineup: 

  1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  2. Javy Baez, 3B
  3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  4. Jason Heyward, RF
  5. Albert Almora Jr., CF
  6. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  7. Willson Contreras, C
  8. Cole Hamels, P
  9. Addison Russell, SS

I’ll explain why a bit more later today in the Pre-Gamin’ post, but one of Scherzer’s few (only?) weaknesses this season has been the long ball. Great, right? Well, sure, but there’s a catch.

Lefties have been able to get the ball in the air against Scherzer exceedingly well this season (48.5%), but have been so far unable to hit him with much authority (27.6 hard%). Righties, meanwhile, have made plenty of solid contact (34.7 hard%), but haven’t hit it in the air quite as much and have hit a TON of infield popups (17.3 IFFB%) when they do get it up. Also of note: hitters on both sides of the plate are striking out over 32% of the time and walking under 7.0% against Scherzer. So basically, as long as the Cubs hitters aren’t either righties or lefties, they should be just fine.

I kid, of course, and remind you that even though the offense has been shaky, this is still a very talented group. With that said … batting Albert Almora fifth today makes no sense to me whatsoever. Surely, Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras stand a better chance and are more deserving of an (potential) extra at-bat, right? Shrug. Perhaps, Joe Maddon has his reasons.

As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:05 CT).

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami