Good start yesterday, Cubs. Now, let’s keep it going today against the Mets and Jason Vargas. Wrigley Field, 1:20. Here’s the lineup.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- David Bote, 3B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Yu Darvish, P
- Addison Russell, 2B
Although the lefty, Jason Vargas, carries traditional splits for his career, he’s pretty close to neutral overall. And this season, he’s actually slightly favored in reverse. But that didn’t stop Joe Maddon from finding every righty on the bench and throwing him in the lineup.
That means Kris Bryant in right field for Carlos Gonzalez, Albert Almora Jr. in center field for Jason Heyward, David Bote at third base (for Bryant), and Addison Russell at second base. The bench, then, is left with lefties Daniel Descalso, Heyward, Gonzalez, and the switch-hitting back-up catcher, Victor Caratini.
Speaking of which, you’ll notice Contreras is back behind the plate for Yu Darvish today. For a time there, it seemed as though Contreras wouldn’t be catching Darvish – a plan that seems to have been abandoned. And I like that. Today is a perfect example of why forcing a personal catcher isn’t always the best idea. Sure, Caratini might make Darvish more comfortable on the mound, but Contreras is the obviously preferred offensive matchup for the Cubs at the plate (he swings better as a righty than Caratini).
Moreover, the Cubs had an off-day on Monday and Contreras didn’t catch on Tuesday, so he’s had plenty of rest. Even moreover than that, Contreras is riding a five-game hitting streak (8 hits, two 2Bs, 2HRs, 2BBs) after hitting a bit of slump, so you want to keep him rolling right now, if you can.