Well, it’s not a surprise after David Ross detailed the extent of Kris Bryant’s injuries (hand and wrist), the Cubs third baseman and leadoff hitter is out of the lineup for tonight. Here’s how the Cubs will play it for their third games against the Cardinals.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, DH
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. David Bote, 3B
8. Victor Caratini, C
9. Jason Kipnis, 2B
With Bryant out of the lineup, Ian Happ takes over at the top of the order. We discussed his increasing strikeouts earlier today, but noted that despite the additional K’s a good overall approach at the plate, including plenty of walks, has kept him productive and on the base paths.
Meanwhile, replacing Bryant at third base is last night’s hero, David Bote.
Other than that, Victor Caratini catches Yu Darvish, as expected, Willson Contreras slides into the designated hitter role, while David Ross continues to ride the hot bat, Jason Kipnis, at second base against the righty Daniel Ponce de Leon:
Anthony Rizzo's .433 OBP is the 8th highest in MLB. Ian Happ's .416 OBP is 16th highest.
If Jason Kipnis had a few more PAs, his .436 OBP would rank 6th. My dude's slashing .333/.436/.667 (192 wRC+) so far. He's hot!
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) August 18, 2020
Speaking of which, de Leon has been appreciably tougher on righties (.245 wOBA) than lefties (.313 wOBA) for his career. He’ll get six left-handed batters tonight.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:15 CT).