The Cubs still have a chance to leave this weekend with a split against the Nationals. Here’s the group that’ll try.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Mike Montgomery, P
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde hasn’t logged much time at the big league level just yet, but in the 48.1 innings he has pitched in the Majors, he’s had a pretty significant reverse split (.442 wOBA versus righties, .364 versus lefties). Obviously, lefties hit him well too, but it goes a long way in explaining Albert Almora’s start today.
It also gives the Cubs a reason to have an all right-handed outfield in general, with Kris Bryant (not Kyle Schwarber) out in left field and Ben Zobrist (not Jason Heyward, who’s on the DL) in right. With Bryant in the outfield, third base was vacated for Javy Baez, which means Addison Russell is drawing the start at short. Daniel Murphy is still at second, though, and Anthony Rizzo covers first.
I’d be tempted today, given Mike Montgomery’s ground ball tendencies and Fedde’s reverse splits to roll with David Bote somewhere in the infield (probably third) instead of Daniel Murphy for maximum defense, but there’s always a tricky balance between offense and defense, I suppose.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (12:35 CT).