The Chicago Cubs have a pretty big series on tap this weekend, as they once again battle a second-place team at Wrigley. It worked out well for them last weekend against the Cardinals. So let’s see if they can’t pull off another sweep, eh?
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Kris Bryant, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- David Bote, 3B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Addison Russell, 2B
- Jose Quintana, P
Southpaw Gio Gonzalez is on the mound for the Brewers this afternoon, having made just two starts total this season. As you might expect, Gonzalez has been tougher on lefties than righties both this season and for his career, so Joe Maddon has decided to lead off with Albert Almora Jr., as he has many times before.
But now that Addison Russell is on the team and starting at second base today, Maddon has also moved David Bote over to third, pushing Kris Bryant out to left. That leaves the Cubs with six right-handed batters, plus Anthony Rizzo who can really hit anybody, in the lineup. Not a bad idea.
Surprisingly – not sure how I’ve missed this so far – Heyward has actually crushed lefties this season, too: .321/.367/.536. He strikes out a lot more against them than righties (and walks a lot less), but he’s definitely doing a lot more damage (40% hard-hit rate vs. 23.6% hard-hit rate) and elevates the ball a lot easier, too (40 GB% vs. 47.2 GB%). This Cubs offense … they can be pretty fun to watch (no jinx).
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).