The Cubs have won four games in a row and haven’t lost a series since April 7th. And if they win again today, they won’t just take the D-Backs series, they’ll head a game over .500 for the first time since Opening Day. Here’s the lineup.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Yu Darvish, P
The Diamondbacks are starting right-hander Zack Greinke today, who’s not quite been his usual self this season. Although he’s been racking up strikeouts and limiting free passes as good as just about anybody else in baseball, he’s allowed a ton of hard contact and so much elevation.
Weirdly, though almost all of that has come against left-handed batters, not fellow righties. Lefties have actually struggled to do anything against Greinke this season (54.5% ground ball rate, 26.1% hard-hit rate, 35.9% strikeout rate, .243 batting average) so I don’t really know why Joe Maddon overloaded with lefties (specifically Heyward, Descalso, and Schwarber) when alternatives did exist. I wouldn’t necessarily want all of them sitting, but Schwarber does stand out, in particular. And it’s not like David Bote isn’t a good hitter.
I get that the batter could still have an advantage of his own (and this being a small sample), but Greinke has clearly been chewed up by right-handed hitters this season (.278/.304/.630), especially in the power department (he’s allowing a hard-hit rate over 50%!), so I’m just a little curious about these choices.
In any case, this could be a good day for Kris Bryant to break back out. He had some wind-aided success yesterday at Wrigley Field, but maybe Greinke’s poor contact management will let him leave the yard on his own. Here’s to hoping.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT).