Cubs vs Rangers - Cubs Lineup, Pitching Matchup, How to Watch

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Cubs vs Rangers – Lineups, Pitching Matchup, How to Watch, Game Thread

Chicago Cubs

We’re six games into the season and it’s already a roller coaster. We were flying high after beating Corbin Burnes on Opening Day, but came crashing down to Earth when the Cubs dropped three straight to the Brewers and Reds (complete with … questionable managerial decisions and postgame X-rays for key players).

Things have looked up lately, however, with a couple of wins over the Reds and Rangers bringing the Cubs back to .500.

Today, Justin Steele will see if he can help the Cubs poke their heads back above water. But he has a formidable matchup against the tough lefty Martin Perez.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Trey Mancini, 1B
  5. Patrick Wisdom, RF
  6. Luis Torrens, DH
  7. Cody Bellinger, CF
  8. Yan Gomes, C
  9. Nick Madrigal, 3B

David Ross is switching up the Cubs lineup this afternoon, but all in predictable ways. With a lefty on the mound, Nick Madrigal enters the lineup to cover third base, Patrick Wisdom heads out to right field and moves up in the lineup, and Cody Bellinger moves down. Meanwhile, Luis Torrens draws a so-far rare start.

Although I generally agree with the approach, I have been a little surprised to see just how little Nick Madrigal has been used so far this season. He was scheduled to start against Hunter Greene’s elite fastball on Wednesday before the game was postponed, but still. He’s been a ghost. Just six at-bats through six games.

But again, that’s all fair. Until he can demonstrate an ability to produce against at least the more favorable matchups (like lefties), this is going to be it. Occasional starts that are more about getting other guys out of the lineup than him into it. And when Seiya Suzuki comes back and right field closes off to Patrick Wisdom (who’s had a great start) we may see even less of Madrigal in the Cubs lineup, if he’s still on the big league team at all.

Texas Rangers Lineup:

  1. Marcus Semien, 2B
  2. Corey Seager, SS
  3. Nathaniel Lowe, 1B
  4. Adolis Garcia, CF
  5. Josh Jung, 3B
  6. Robbie Grossman, RF
  7. Mitch Garver, DH
  8. Jonah Heim, C
  9. Ezequiel Duran, LF

Pitching Matchup:

Texas Rangers: Martin Perez, LHP

Perez had an excellent 2022 season, earning a 2.89 ERA over 32 starts and 196.1 IP. And this yer, he basically started where he left off, going 5.2 innings of 1-run ball against the Phillies in his first start of the season. Perez has pretty significant and traditional splits throughout his career, meaning lefties tend to struggle against him quite a bit.

Notable Matchups:

  • Mancini: 7-21, 3BB, 3K
  • Hosmer: 3-9, BB, 2K

Chicago Cubs: Justin Steele, LHP

Justin Steele was so very good in his first start of the season, keeping the Brewers scoreless over 6.0 innings, striking out eight and walking just one. He also generated a ton of ground balls (8) and a ton of weak contact (zero barrels).

How to Watch:

Chicago Cubs (3-3) vs Texas Rangers (4-3) at 3:05 CT on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score

Author: Michael Cerami

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