At the beginning of this series, I called the Dodgers a big test for the suddenly hot Chicago Cubs and here we are – game 3 – with a chance to sweep. Here’s the Cubs personnel.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jon Lester, P
The very first thing I noticed when I saw this lineup was Willson Contreras’ presence behind the plate, once again. Typically, a catcher will take a day game off if he caught the night game the night before – and if Victor Caratini were still around, that’s exactly what I would’ve expected to see. Instead, Taylor Davis is staying on the bench and Contreras is starting again.
I know there’s some debate regarding how much the lack of rest last season impacted Contreras’ second half, but Davis is going to have to start at some point no matter what. Feels like it probably could’ve been today.
On the other hand, the Cubs game tomorrow night is not until 8:40 CT. So while Contreras will have some travel in-between, he will have a lot of time off in between squats.
Other than that, Daniel Descalso is batting fifth tonight, and he’ll join fellow lefties Ben Zobrist, Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, and Jon Lester. Altogether, then, the Cubs have six of nine batters hitting from the left side tonight against the righty Ross Stripling. Not that his splits call for it …
Vs. Lefties: .224/.276/.361
Vs. Righties: .271/.311/.456
… This is the much more obvious day Almora should’ve started. Whatever. Just keep winning, Cubs. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (1:20 CT)