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Cubs vs Dodgers: Lineups, Pitching Matchups, How to Watch, Game Thread

Chicago Cubs

All that time spent re-working the CBA and they couldn’t even find a way to ban night games on the West Coast following off-days. Shaking my head. Alas. We’re back after a little layoff, and the Chicago Cubs lineup features the return of a couple familiar faces. Take a look.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, SS
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Ian Happ, LF
  4. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  5. Cody Bellinger, CF
  6. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  7. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  8. Edwin Rios, DH
  9. Yan Gomes, C

Seiya Suzuki is BACK.

Dansby Swanson is BACK.

The Chicago Cubs lineup we’ve been waiting for — well, the pre-Mervis/Morel/Vazquez edition — is finally here. And, hey, we didn’t have to wait too long. As you’ll recall, Suzuki was injured at the very beginning of Spring Training, but because of a faster-than expected recovery and a rain out, he’s missed only 11 games. That is hardly the lengthy absence we once feared this would be. And, hey, the Cubs managed to play above-.500 baseball without him. He immediately re-enters the Cubs lineup, batting cleanup and playing right field. Today is a good day.

And, hey, don’t sleep on the return of Dansby Swanson, either. We had a sense this was coming after some of the initial news wasn’t as bad as we had feared, but it’s still great to see him show up in his usual spot on the diamiond and in the batting order. The Cubs lineup is lengthened significantly tonight. And while that doesn’t mean they’ll have immediate success, it does increase the odds of success on any given night. Suzuki is a critical piece of this group and his presence could be a big difference to an offense that has – frankly – outperformed expectations so far.

Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup:

  1. Mookie Betts, RF
  2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  3. J.D. Martinez, DH
  4. Max Muncy, 3B
  5. Trayce Thompson, CF
  6. Miguel Vargas, 2B
  7. Miguel Rojas, SS
  8. Chris Taylor, LF
  9. Austin Barnes, C

Pitching Matchup:

Los Angeles Dodgers: Noah Syndergaard, RHP

Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers this past offseason, to hopefully leverage their superior pitching infrastructure and re-enter free agency this offseason with a better chance at a big payday. And so far (just two starts) it’s been a mixed bag. On the one hand, his fastball velocity remains a far cry from his peak and he was touched up by the Diamondbacks his last time out: 6 ER in 4.0 IP with just two strikeouts. On the other hand, he had just faced them a start before, which is never a good thing for the pitcher, lasting 6.0 innings with just one earned run and 6Ks. Syndergaard is an entirely different guy than the one he was in New York, but I don’t like betting against former aces. They always seem able to pull a gem out of nowhere in any given start. For what it’s worth, Dansby Swanson has some solid numbers against Syndergaard for his career.

Notable Matchups:

  • Swanson: 8-18, 2B, 4Ks
  • Hosmer: 2-10, 2B, 2BB, 4Ks
  • Gomes: 0-10, 4Ks
  • Barnhart: 0-9, 2Ks
  • Bellinger: 0-7, BB, 2Ks

Chicago Cubs: Justin Steele, LHP

Justin Steele has gotten off to a great start this season, striking out 11 batters and allowing just one earned run through his first 12.0 IP. He’s got two straight quality starts to begin the season and has continued his weak contact ways. He was a little wild his last time out (4 walks), but I think he looks pretty good all things considered. The Dodgers are always a tough draw, but they’ve been especially good against left-handed pitchers this season (123 wRC+, 8th).

Notable Matchups: n/a (no Dodgers with more than 3 ABs against Steele)

How to Watch:

Chicago Cubs (6-5) vs Los Angeles Dodgers (7-6) at 9:10 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