The Cubs have a shot at winning this series tonight, but it’l be a tough one with Jacob deGrom on the mound. Here’s how Joe Maddon has chosen to attack the legitimate NL Cy Young candidate.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Victor Caratini, C
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Cole Hamels, P
- David Bote, P
With 23 games in 23 days, Addison Russell out, and a day game tomorrow following the night game tonight, there was a chance that we were going to see some rest for a potentially fatiguing Javier Baez at short. I suppose that rest will have to come tomorrow, if it comes at all, though, because he’s out there at short tonight.
Willson Contreras, on the other hand, is getting the traditional/expected night off and will presumably return tomorrow. Perhaps, Joe Maddon didn’t want to give both a night off at the same time.
In any case, that means that Victor Caratini is behind the plate and batting fifth (?) tonight, ahead of Kyle Schwarber and David Bote for some reason. Meanwhile, the top of the lineup looks relatively familiar with Daniel Murphy leading off (and still working on his six game hitting streak), followed by Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, and Javier Baez.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s three lefties to lead off plus five of the first six. Jacob deGrom has been much tougher on righties than lefties this season, no doubt, but he’s closer to neutral for his career, and, if we’re being honest, nobody hits him all that well. Then again, I suppose it’s best to play the better odds, however low they may be. What do you think? Will the Cubs come out swinging against deGrom once again?
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:05 CT).