The Cubs can end this 30-scheduled games in 30-days stretch with a sweep tonight, while dropping their magic number down to – at least – seven. Here’s the lineup to try:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Willson Contreras, C
- David Bote, 3B
- Cole Hamels, P
- Addison Russell, SS
With the lefty Robbie Ray on the mound, I don’t think there was any surprise when Albert Almora’s name was announced as the first batter in the Cubs’ order for tonight’s finale. Ray has devastated lefties to a .135/.219/.274 (.223 wOBA) slash line this season, while letting righties off the hook: .247/.362/.421 (.342 wOBA).
That also explains why Daniel Murphy is getting a breather again tonight, in favor of an Addison Russell-Javy Baez double-play combo. But the righty I’m most excited to see perform tonight is Willson Contreras.
Contreras has had an up-and-down season, to say the least, but has gotten some more rest here lately. But more specifically, while he’s fallen back a bit against righties, his numbers against southpaws are actually quite good: .255/.378/.434 (122 wRC+), especially his ability to take a walk, get the ball in the air, and make hard contact. With any luck, this ideal matchup for Contreras will turn into a big night at the plate.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time.