Chicago Cubs Lineup - Cubs vs Rangers: Pitching Matchup, More

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

Chicago Cubs

This afternoon, the Chicago Cubs are going for their first sweep and series win of the season. If they are able to pull it off, it’ll be hard not to be impressed. The Rangers are a pretty good team and threw three solid starting pitchers at a Cubs lineup that was supposed to be much more underwhelming than they have been to start the year. Patrick Wisdom has been particularly impressive at the plate and already has three home runs to start the year.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Cody Bellinger, CF
  5. Trey Mancini, RF
  6. Edwin Rios, DH
  7. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  8. Nick Madrigal, 3B
  9. Tucker Barnhart, C

Well, it’s a day off for the Cubs hottest hitter, Patrick Wisdom, who’s replaced at third base by Nick Madrigal. Gray throws hard, yes. And Madrigal had a couple of hits yesterday, yes. But I still just don’t think I want to see this swap too often, especially not when Wisdom is on something of a heater to start the year: 8-23, two 2Bs, three HRs, and a walk.

Maybe it won’t matter anyway, because given Jon Gray’s 2022 splits, the lefties in the Cubs lineup will be responsible for generating offense this afternoon:

vs RHH: .201/.247/.354 (.264 wOBA)
vs LHH: .248/.332/.399 (.322 wOBA)

The split is narrower when you look at Gray’s career, but there’s still a gap. Lefties just have a lot more success against him. Fortunately, the Cubs have five of them in there today, with Happ, Bellinger, Rios, Hosmer, and Barnhart. As you’ll see below, Hosmer and Bellinger have both seen Gray quite a bit from their time in the NL West, but given the up-and-down nature of their careers, it’s kinda tough to decide what to make of their hitter-pitcher history.

Overall, pretty good Cubs lineup today.

Texas Rangers Lineup:

  1. Marcus Semien, 2B
  2. Corey Seager, SS
  3. Nathanial Lowe, 1B
  4. Adolis Garcia, DH
  5. Josh Jung, 3B
  6. Josh Smith, LF
  7. Jonah Heim, C
  8. Travis Jankowski, RF
  9. Bubba Thompson, CF

Pitching Matchup:

Texas Rangers: Jon Gray, RHP

Jon Gray’s first start of the season came against the Baltimore Orioles, and it was pretty great from a results perspective: 6.1 IP, 4H, 2ER (on two solo HRs), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts. A few Cubs players (the new guys) have some pretty significant history against Gray, especially Cody Bellinger, so let’s hope they can keep their foot on the gas this afternoon.

Notable Matchups:

  • Hosmer: 8-29, 2B, 3 BB, 10K
  • Bellinger: 11-23, 5 2Bs, 3B, 4BB, 2K
  • Swanson: 3-12, 2 2Bs, 5K

Chicago Cubs: Jameson Taillon, RHP

Jameson Taillon was not sharp in his Chicago Cubs debut, going just a quick 4.0 innings (63 pitches) with some shaky command while falling behind in the count early and often. Because of that, he wasn’t really able to mix in all of his pitches, particularly the new sweeper he’s been developing. After the game, he said he felt fine, and he has enough of a track record to dissuade any concerns. Just a bad start. Let’s call today a mulligan.

Notable Matchups:

  • Semien: 2-11, 2HR, 2K
  • Seager: 4-9, 2 2Bs
  • Garcia: 2-4, HR

How to Watch:

Chicago Cubs (4-3) vs Texas Rangers (4-4) at 1:20 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