The Cubs’ 11-game road trip rolls on to Philadelphia after a triumphant one-night show in Atlanta. Joe Maddon’s club is 18-9 in August, which comes out to a .667 winning percentage. And because you’re curious, that’s the team’s best winning percentage in any month this season. This is the lineup that looks to close out August on a high note:
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ian Happ, LF
- Jose Quintana, P
- David Bote, 3B
Because the Phillies play in the NL East and Nick Pivetta is only two years into his big league career, there aren’t too many Cubs with a ton of experience against tonight’s starter. But at the top, you’ll find that Daniel Murphy has seen him the most (9 plate appearances) and made the most of his at-bats (4-for-7, two walks).
Left-handed hitters have fared better against Pivetta this season than their right-handed counterparts. Pivetta has yielded a .354 wOBA and a juicy .286/.348/.478 slash line against lefty batters in 259 plate appearances. So it should come as no surprise that three of the first four hitters to greet Pivetta tonight will be lefties. Right-handed batters aren’t faring as well, posting a .238/.293/.388 slash line to go along with a .296 wOBA.
With that in mind, it’s a bit of a surprise that Kyle Schwarber (.840 OPS vs. right-handed starters in 2018) isn’t in the lineup, but he is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Pivetta in their previous encounters. Not only could the Cubs be leaning on better outfield defense with Jose Quintana on the mound, Albert Almora is 2-for-3 with a double against the Phillies starter. It would be nice to see that good fortune continue tonight.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to tonight’s game time (6:05 CT).