The Cubs need a win quite badly, but they’re running into the hottest team in baseball at their home ballpark. Let’s see what Joe Maddon has cooked up for Game 1 against the Brewers.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Jose Quintana, P
Brandon Woodruff has only 90.1 big league innings to his name, but during that time, he has absolutely stifled right-handed hitters: .204/.272/.343 (.268 wOBA). Righties strike out against him a little less often than lefties, but righties also walk a lot less and make WAY more soft contact, especially on the ground.
So with that in mind, I’m not surprised to see Albert Almora Jr. sitting this one out, as Jason Heyward slides over to center field. Heyward has had a ton of struggles this year (particularly with ground balls), but so has Almora, especially with burying batted balls in the dirt (68.4% overall, 70% against righties).
Obviously we’re talking about small samples here, but there’s really no argument for starting Almora tonight. Hopefully, Heyward has a little more luck.
Other than that, the Cubs have stacked the deck with lefties, including the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist in right field and Daniel Descalso at second base. This feel like the right lineup for tonight, so let’s hope Quintana brings it and the offense does him some favors.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (7:10 CT).