Cubs vs Marlins: Lineups, Pitching Matchup, Broadcast Info, Game Thread
The Chicago Cubs remain undefeated in the Matt Mervis era, and they’re on the precipice of paying back the Marlins for that B.S. sweep in Miami last weekend. That said, it’s a tough matchup for the Cubs lineup today, who have Hayden Wesneski squaring up against the 2022 NL Cy Young award winner, Sandy Alcantara. Alcantara hasn’t been his usual dominant self this year (more on that below), but I’m not taking that for granted.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Nico Hoerner, 2B
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Ian Happ, LF
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Eric Hosmer, DH
- Nelson Velázquez, RF
- Matt Mervis, 1B
- Nick Madrigal, 3B
- Miguel Amaya, C
A lot of changes to the Cubs lineup this afternoon. With the hard-throwing righty, Alcantara, on the mound, Patrick Wisdom, Trey Mancini, and Seiya Suzuki are all on the bench. In their place, David Ross has gone with contact-bat Nick Madrigal at third base, lefty-bat Eric Hosmer at DH, and rookie-bat Nelson Velázquez in right field.
Generally speaking, all of these decisions are fine. Yes, even the start for Eric Hosmer. So long as he’s not taking Matt Mervis out of the lineup (which theoretically isn’t going to happen), I’m okay with the occasional DH deployment against a righty. I still think Mancini is a better overall hitter – and has been hot lately – but so long as he’s on the team, Hosmer isn’t going to NOT play. Mancini will get most of the starts, but today made as much sense as any.
As for Suzuki, he’s got five strikeouts in his last four games and Alcantara just wasn’t a good matchup for him. It’s not like it’ll be any easier on Velázquez, but I think Suzuki means a lot more to the Cubs this season, so whatever it takes to get him going (like a little matchup protection early on) works for me. And I don’t hate Velázquez starts in any case. Crazy Cubs bench today, though, eh? Mancini, Suzuki, Wisdom, and Barnhart. Cool that the Cubs can field a competitive looking lineup despite all that talent on the bench.
Miami Marlins Lineup:
- Jazz Chisholm Jr., CF
- Jorge Soler, DH
- Luis Arraez, 2B
- Jesus Sanchez, RF
- Yuli Gurriel, 1B
- Bryan De La Cruz, LF
- Jean Segura, 3B
- Jacob Stallings, C
- Jon Berti, SS
Chicago Cubs: Hayden Wesneski, RHP
Would you believe that Hayden Wesneski has a 2.42 ERA over his last four starts (22.1 IP)? Weird, right? It doesn’t feel that way. Indeed, despite the results, I think we all know it hasn’t quite been that successful. He has certainly made progress in pretty much every consecutive start since his blowup against the Mariners, but he still seems to begin games not quite fully locked in. So he’s basically needed to luck out of damage early to avoid disaster. Hopefully, that changes today. With Kyle Hendricks coming back soon and the rest of the rotation locked in, Wesneski could really use a statement game right about now.
Miami Marlins: Sandy Alcantara, RHP
Sandy Alcantara won the NL Cy Young award last season, finishing 10th in NL MVP voting in the process. He was the truest definition of an Ace, not only achieving excellent results (2.28 ERA) with impressive peripherals (2.92 xERA, 2.99 FIP), but also doing so over a staggering 228.2 IP. Pitchers just don’t do that anymore. In fact, that’s the most innings thrown in a single season by any starter since David Price in 2016 (230.0 IP). The numbers this season don’t hold up (5.09 ERA over six starts), but I wouldn’t take too much comfort in that. One disastrous outing against the Phillies (9 ER in 4.0 IP) is really weighing him down. And while the most of his other starts have been mediocre-ish, he is still capable of absolute gems, like the complete game shutout he delivered to the Twins in early April.
With that said, there are cracks.
His 90.0 MPH average exit velocity and 10 degree launch angle are both rough. His strikeout rate is down, his walk rate is up, his groundball rate is way down. And it’s not like he’s getting BABIP-ed to death (.277). But he still has his premium velocity and you won’t find many people betting against him. So basically, I don’t care what the numbers say, the Cubs lineup has a tough matchup today.
- Swanson: 7-23, 2 2Bs, BB, 2K
- Bellinger: 2-8, HR, 2BB, 2K
Chicago Cubs (17-16) vs Miami Marlins (16-18) at 1:20 pm CT on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score