Kyle Hendricks did most of the work for the Cubs in their Opening Day win over the Brewers last night. Now let’s see what Yu Darvish and company has in store for the Brewers for game 2.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Kris Bryant, 3B
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, DH
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Victor Caratini, C
8. Jason Kipnis, 2B
9. Ian Happ, CF
Although yesterday’s starter, Brandon Woodruff, was a righty with pretty significant lefty/righty splits for his career, that’s nothing compared to today’s matchup:
Corbin Burns Career Splits:
v. LHH: .315/.411/.592 (.416 wOBA)
v. RHH: .257/.297/.454 (.315 wOBA)
We’re not talking about a TON of career innings here, but these numbers here are relative eye-popping. Righties are striking out nearly 34% of the time against Burnes, while lefties are homering 2.53 times per nine innings. Weirdly enough, Burnes also has a 51.0% ground ball rate against left-handed hitters with a league average-ish hard-hit rate … so maybe there’s a lot of flukiness in there – indeed, a 32.1% HR/FB rate is difficult to sustain. Even still, this seems like a good day to be a left-handed hitter.
And David Ross seems to agree.
Largely rolling with the same lineup as yesterday (Contreras and Caratini have simply switched positions to keep both bats in the lineup (which I absolutely LOVE)), the only change has been subbing in lefty Jason Kipnis for righty Nico Hoerner. That gives the Cubs just three right-handed hitters this afternoon, with four traditional lefties, and two switch-hitters. That’s going to be one heck of a matchup for Burnes, and I like the Cubs odds.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:00 CT).