Well, well, well … Ian Happ has finally made it back to the top of the Cubs lineup (Don’t embarrass me, bro!). Here’s the Cubs starting-nine against the Brewers in Chicago.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ian Happ, CF
- Nicholas Castellanos, RF
- Victor Caratini, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Addison Russell, 2B
- Jonathan Lucroy, C
- David Bote, 3B
- Jose Quintana, P
Here’s a crazy sentence: The Cubs starting lineup for this pretty important series-opener against the Brewers at the end of August is without Ben Zobrist (not back yet), Anthony Rizzo (sore back), Willson Contreras (hamstring), Jason Heyward, and Kris Bryant. Like … wow.
You already know why the first three are out (come back soon, gents), so let’s tackle Heyward and Bryant. The first one is pretty easy.
Chase Anderson Splits:
LHH v. Anderson: .175/.244/.325 (.245 wOBA)
RHH v. Anderson: .296/.374/.540 (.379 wOBA)
Chase Anderson may be right-handed, but he has pretty extreme and reverse lefty/righty splits. In fact, that explains most of today’s lineup, including Jonathan Lucroy, David Bote, and Addison Russell, but especially Jason Heyward. This was just not the matchup for him – and his time atop the Cubs lineup is probably not long either.
As for Bryant, well, I’m not entirely sure why he’s not in there. He could have easily taken over for Kyle Schwarber in left field as a better matchup for Anderson, but maybe the Cubs wanted to (1) give him some rest and (2) get Schwarber, who didn’t start yesterday, but has been swinging a hot bat lately, back in the lineup. That’s my best guess, anyway. For what it’s worth …
Schwarber v. Anderson: 2-15, 1HR, 1BB, 1K
Bryant v. Anderson: 7-26, 3HR, 2BB, 4K
And with so many nominal starters out of the lineup this afternoon, Ian Happ has finally moved back to the leadoff spot. Of course, it’s not exactly the most ideal matchup for him (Happ, a switch-hitter, has an advantage batting lefty against righties, but Anderson’s reverse splits complicate things). But he’ll have to produce anyway.
This could be a big series for both teams, so let’s hope the Cubs come out swinging. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (1:20 CT).