Chicago Cubs Lineup: The Group to Hit Keller, Redux

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Chicago Cubs Lineup: The Group to Hit Keller, Redux

Chicago Cubs

Although it’s both obvious (and technically always the goal), it’s also more important this season than ever: The Chicago Cubs need to bank as many early wins as possible. And that means taking as many winnable games against beatable teams like the Pirates as possible. Let’s see if the rematch of Davies v. Keller goes as good as the first time around.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Willson Contreras, C
3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
4. Kris Bryant, 3B
5. Joc Pederson, LF
6. Javy Baez, SS
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. David Bote, 2B
9. Zach Davies, P

Pretty much everything I said about Mitch Keller last time still applies

… none of this is to say you should sleep on Keller, 25, who’s been a top-50 prospect in MLB since 2017 for a reason. He’s got a mid-90s fastball and a good slider, to go along with a big dropping curveball and pocket changeup. I’d expect him to pump some fastballs at the top of the zone to see if the Cubs have fixed any of their issues with high heat, but he can beat them in a lot of different ways. It hasn’t come together for him at this level just yet, but he *is* talented. Oh, also it’s his birthday.

(It’s no longer his birthday, though) … but it feels worth singling out Ian Happ, who boosted his career numbers against Keller to 4-7 with a double, 2 homers, and a walk with a good game out last time out. That’s a tiny sample, no doubt, but I don’t think I’m going out on a ledge when I say he probably sees him particularly well.

Keller lasted just 3.0 innings last time, thanks in large part to the Cubs patient overall approach (4 walks), so hopefully they take a page out of their own book and make Keller throw strikes instead of helping him out by putting the ball in play just for the sake of it.

We’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (5:35pm CT).

Author: Michael Cerami

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