Tonight, the Cubs will look to complete their two-game sweep of the Indians at Wrigley Field, which would pair nicely with their two game sweep of the Indians at Progressive Field earlier this year. Here’s their lineup for the 11th-to-last game of the season.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Kris Bryant, 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Willson Contreras, C
5. Kyle Schwarber, DH
6. Javy Baez, SS
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. Cameron Maybin, LF
9. Jason Kipnis, 2B
Right-hander Aaron Civale burst onto the scene with the Indians last year, with an absolutely brilliant 10-start debut featuring a 2.34 ERA. And while the results aren’t quite as strong this season (3.88 ERA), he’s actually improved his strikeout rate (from 20.3% to 23.8%) and his groundball rate (from 40.5% to 45.8%) while lowering his walk rate (from 7.0% to 4.3%) and keeping his average exit velocity nearly identical.
He has also lasted at least 6.0 innings in every single one of his starts this year, including one complete game against the Pirates, and has reverse splits for his career. Given all of that, plus the fact that none of the Cubs have ever faced him, tonight could be a bit frustrating offensively. Have patience and hope Jon Lester is on top of his sh*t.
As for the lineup … on any given day, there’s really only room for 1-2 non-regulars to join the starting cast if everyone is healthy and playing. Today, those players are Cameron Maybin and Nico Hoerner. Maybin is heading out for a start in left field (with Kyle Schwarber heading to DH) after hanging in the box long enough to give the Cubs a win last night, and Hoerner is filling in for Jason Kipnis at second base.
Other than that it’s business as usual from top to bottom, so look for your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (7:15 CT).