The Chicago Cubs have had played themselves into a rubber match in each of their first three series of the year. They won the first one (against the Pirates), lost the second one (against the Brewers), but are back at it again today, in an attempt to get back above .500 against maybe the worst team in MLB. They really do need to just win soundly.
Now let’s take a look at the group Ross picked for an annoyingly important game on a cold and rainy Sunday.
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. Eric Sogard, 2B
9. Trevor Williams, P
There are basically no surprises at all today, with Eric Sogard standing out as the only real decision point in an otherwise familiar group. But even that is no mystery, given JT Brubaker’s career splits:
v. LHH: .278/.376/.417 (.350 wOBA)
v. RHH: .231/.380/.396 (.289 wOBA)
Those are some big old traditional splits, so getting Sogard’s left-handed bat in there instead of Bote is perfectly reasonable.
In terms of history, the Cubs don’t have a ton of it against the 27-year-old righty, Brubaker, and what they do have isn’t all that promising, particularly the top of the order …
Happ: 2-7, 2B, 4Ks
Contreras: 1-5, 4Ks
… That’s 3-24 with 8 strikeouts. So, hopefully they’ve learned something.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (12:05 CT).