Chicago Cubs Wild Card Game Lineup: Zobrist Leads Off, Murphy at Second Base

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Chicago Cubs Wild Card Game Lineup: Zobrist Leads Off, Murphy at Second Base

Chicago Cubs

Here’s the NL Wild Card game lineup for your Chicago Cubs.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. Kris Bryant, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Javy Baez, SS
  5. Albert Almora Jr., CF
  6. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  7. Willson Contreras, C
  8. David Bote, 3B
  9. Jon Lester, P

The Cubs Wild Card game lineup is without Jason Heyward, Ian Happ, or Kyle Schwarber, because, as we’ve discussed, Kyle Freeland has held left-handers way down this season. Daniel Murphy managed to stay in the lineup, but he’s moved all the way down to sixth tonight.

In his place up top is Ben Zobrist, who’ll bat from the right side of the plate tonight. Unfortunately, that’s his weaker side by a not-insignificant margin (116 wRC+ versus 125 wRC+). Indeed, his power is *especially* lacking from the right side of the plate (.073 ISO), BUT his batting average (.333) and OBP (.381) are both higher. As far as a leadoff hitter goes, you can do a lot worse.

David Bote also made his way into the starting lineup – what a weird season it has been – as he’ll cover third in Kris Bryant’s absence. Bryant, meanwhile heads out to left and stands next to Albert Almora Jr., whose ability against lefties is usually quite good. Indeed, against southpaws this season, Almora has walked more, struck out less, hit for a higher average, OBP, ISO, and slugging. However, he’s also hit fewer line drives, more ground balls, and has a lower hard-hit rate. Life is tough sometimes.

Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, and Willson Contreras, of course, are all at their usual spots, and the latter two, in particular, might be leaned on tonight. I hope they have their good bats with them, because the Cubs offense has been struggling. The other item of note is Jon Lester batting ninth, instead of eighth. That’s likely related to Joe Maddon’s hopes that he’ll last deep into this ballgame.

As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:08 CT). Boy I hope it’s not the last time I type that this week.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami