The Cubs have a huge swing in the standings on the line tonight, and they’re going with a little extra defense to make it work.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Javy Baez, 3B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Kyle Hendricks, P
- Addison Russell, SS
Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell are both getting the opportunity to start again tonight, despite exceedingly weak offensive second-halves, most likely because of the extra defense they each provide. With Jason Heyward on the shelf and Ben Zobrist in right, Almora’s glove will be welcomed in the outfield, and Russell’s ability to impact a game with leather was on full display last night.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 12, 2018
But to be honest, I still don’t love how often either guy is starting, considering the offensive woes and otherwise deep bench, but at least tonight makes more sense than most.
Chase Anderson is starting for the Brewers this evening, and he’s been tougher on lefties (.301 wOBA) than righties (.327 wOBA) both this year, and for his career (.300 wOBA, .341 wOBA). Hopefully, these two glove-first righties, Russell and Almora, can take advantage and contribute on both sides of the ball tonight.
Otherwise, the lineup is pretty standard. At least, in terms of recent weeks. With Kyle Schwarber still battling soreness, Kris Bryant is out in left. Willson Contreras reclaims his spot behind the plate, and Anthony Rizzo covers first.
This is an absolutely huge game for the Cubs (and Brewers), so let’s hope everyone brings it tonight. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:05 CT).