Cubs vs Astros: Lineups, Pitching Matchup, Broadcast Info, Game Thread
After their loss last night in Houston, the Chicago Cubs are now a season-worst three games below .500. They need to get back on track and fast if they don’t want the front office to start getting ideas about what to do with this roster come July. Fortunately, Justin Steele is on the mound tonight, and here’s a look at the Cubs lineup that will stand in behind him.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Nick Madrigal, 3B
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Chris Morel, CF
- Ian Happ, LF
- Seiya Suzuki, Rf
- Matt Mervis, 1B
- Miles Mastrobuoni, 2B
- Eric Hosmer, DH
- Tucker Barnhart, C
Well that’s one weird Cubs lineup. I get that Cristian Javier has historically handled righties (.246 wOBA) better than lefties (.296 wOBA), but the opposite is actually true this season. I also don’t think Eric Hosmer should ever be starting, but I especially don’t think he should be starting on the same days Tucker Barnhart starts.
It’s just a brutal bottom of the order for the Cubs.
And in a vacuum, getting Morel’s power closer to the heart of the lineup sounds great, but it comes at the expense of (1) leading off with Nick Madrigal and (2) having four straight lefties at the bottom of your order.
That said, Miles Mastrobuoni found his way into the Cubs lineup tonight in large part because Cody Bellinger clearly needed (at least) one day off after his injury yesterday. Morel takes over in center, opening up second for Mastrobuoni, while Madrigal covers third.
I don’t like this lineup. There’s just too much relative offensive talent left on the bench (Patrick Wisdom, Yan Gomes, Cody Bellinger (presumably hurt), and Trey Mancini). But because I said that, you can probably count on about 10 Cubs runs tonight. Unless I just reverse-jinxed.
Houston Astros Lineup:
- Mauricio Dubon, 2B
- Alex Bregman, 3
- Yordan Alvarez, DH
- Kyle Tucker, RF
- Jose Abreu, 1B
- Jeremy Peña, SS
- Corey Julks, LF
- Chas McCormick, CF
- Martin Maldonado, C
Chicago Cubs: Justin Steele, LHP
Justin Steele has been the Cubs best and most consistent pitcher all season, with eight straight quality starts to open up the year. In fact, his last game (6.0 IP, 7H, 3ER, 3BB, 3K) was – by far – his worst of the season, and that’s really saying something, because it was still good! He continues to be a very difficult pitcher to square up, let alone barrel, and has managed to keep a lot of the hard contact he does allow on the ground. Houston is better against lefties than they are against righties this year, but they’re still just about middle-of-the pack. Carve ’em up, Justin.
Houston Astros: Cristian Javier, RHP
Another day, another tough starting pitching matchup for the Chicago Cubs lineup. Cristian Javier has maybe not been quite as good as Justin Steele, but he has been impressive, striking out 54 batters in just 46.2 IP with only 10 walks. That 5.40 K/BB ratio is just outside the top-10 in MLB this season. Javier tends to make it deep into ballgames too, so don’t look for too much relief early on. He doesn’t have elite velocity, but his curveball has excellent spin, his changeup gets a ton of whiffs, and he gets a lot of swings on pitches out of the zone, which leads to weak contact. Dude’s good.
Chicago Cubs (19-22) vs Houston Astros (22-19) at 7:10 pm CT on MARQ, TBS, 670 The Score