The Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers will square off for Game 3 at Globe Life Park later today. Here’s how Chicago will line up.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, LF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Victor Caratini, C
The Cubs have drawn Lance Lynn for their third game of the season, and unlike the first two starters they’ve faced, Lynn has pretty significant lefty/righty splits.
Last season, lefties absolutely crushed Lynn (.298/.398/.443; .366 wOBA), while righties struggled to do much of anything (.238/.312/.358; .297 wOBA). And for his career, that gap has held true, even as he’s been slightly more effective against all hitters:
Versus Lefties: .260/.362/.429; .346 wOBA
Versus Righties: .229/.290/.341; 279 wOBA
So with that in mind, it’s not surprising to see Daniel Descalso take the start at second base. HOWEVA, I will point out that last season, Descalso actually handled lefties (134 wRC+) far better than righties (107 wRC+). He walked way more against righties (16.0% vs. 10.8%) and struck out a lot less against them, too (24.9% vs. 31.1%), but he just made more and better contact against southpaws. Those are some weird numbers.
Besides that, Joe Maddon has also taken this opportunity to give Willson Contreras a breather. After a night-game last night, that was probably always going to be the case, but at least the switch-hitting Caratini can get the lefty advantage Contreras can not. Extra rest will be very important to Contreras (and the Cubs) this year, so it’s good to see them sticking to that plan right out of the gate.
The top-half of the lineup looks identical to last night’s group, and they were clicking offensively. Let’s see if the Cubs can get themselves their first series win of the year.