Well, the Cubs spoiled their chance to have a chance to win this series today, but they can still take home a four-game split. I guess that’s also fine. Of course, to get there, they’ll have to win with one of their most struggling pitchers, Tyler Chatwood, on the mound against one of the Reds best starters, Luis Castillo. Here’s how the Cubs will line ’em up.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javy Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Jason Kipnis, DH
8. David Bote, 3B
9. Nico Hoerner, 2B
We are rapidly approaching the moment where Ian Happ (14 games) has led off as many times as Kris Bryant (16) this season. Today will be game #15 for Happ at the leadoff spot, and I’m fairly certain that even when Bryant does come back, we’ll see Happ up top.
Meanwhile, the rotating cast of characters at third base, second base, and designated hitter (Bote, Hoerner, Kipnis, Caratini) continues to rotate, with Bote at third, Hoerner at second, and Kipnis at designated hitter. Although the righty, Castillo, does carry traditional splits (tougher on right-handed hitters) he also has a ton of velocity, so that’s why you want Hoerner’s bat in there.
If you’re looking for one standout offensive performance today, you might want to keep an eye on Schwarber, who’s got 5 hits (3 homers and 2 doubles) against Castillo in 17 at bats, plus four walks. Clearly, he sees him well.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:10 CT).