Chicago Cubs Lineup: Heyward and Pederson Sit Against a Lefty

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: Heyward and Pederson Sit Against a Lefty

Chicago Cubs

Tonight’s matchup against the Brewers is just the fourth game of the year for the Cubs, but it’s already their second game against a southpaw (our old friend Brett Anderson). However, David Ross is deploying a very different “versus lefties” lineup this time around, with a couple of very notable positional changes. Take a look.

Chicago Cubs Lineup: 

1. Ian Happ, LF
2. Willson Contreras, C
3. Kris Bryant, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Javy Baez, SS
6. David Bote, 2B
7. Jake Marisnick, CF
8. Matt Duffy, 3B
9. Trevor Williams, P

Like the first lefty the Cubs faced this year, Anderson has been largely split neutral for his career. In general, righties strike out a little more against him (16.7% vs. 14.5%), but walk a little more, too (6.5% vs. 5.4%). Meanwhile, lefties have hit him for less power (.396 SLG vs. 414 SLG), but also a higher average (.291 vs. 268). Needless to say, this isn’t some obvious “load up on righties” situation, but that’s exactly what Ross did (no complaints there, just pointing it out). But unlike last time, Ian Happ is starting and leading off, while both Jason Heyward and Joc Pederson hit the bench.

To accommodate all that movement, Happ heads to left field, Jake Marisnick takes center, and Kris Bryant bumps out to right. That opens up third base for Matt Duffy’s first career start with the Cubs (although, he’s actually handled righties better than lefties for his career…). In the lineup, Bryant and Javy Baez each moved up a spot, pushing Anthony Rizzo down to cleanup. And David Bote rises by default, as well.

While the Cubs don’t have a TON of experience against Anderson, a few of these guys have had some success early on:

Ian Happ: 2-2, 1BB
Jake Marisnick: 3-4, 2 2Bs, HR
Kris Bryant: 2-3, HR

In general, I think this is a perfectly good lineup for tonight, but I am a bit surprised, once again, to see this much movement out of David Ross. Certainly, he’s entitled to feel out his preferred lineup given the new faces on the roster, but last season, stability and consistency was a hallmark of his lineups. You wonder if the analytics department has gotten a hold of his ear a little more this season, offering their perspective on who should hit where on a daily basis. Ultimately, I think we’ll see more consistency as the season progresses.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami