Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Rays (5:50 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — Besides their (perilous) two-game sweep of the White Sox last week, the Chicago Cubs haven’t won back-to-back games since May 4 and May 5 against Milwaukee. That’s ridiculous. Fortunately, after taking the finale in Cincinnati on Sunday, they have an opportunity to do just that tonight. Here’s a look at the Cubs lineup for Game 1 against the Rays.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Mike Tauchman, DH
  2. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  3. Cody Bellinger, 1B
  4. Chris Morel, 3B
  5. Ian Happ, LF
  6. Dansby Swanson, SS
  7. Michael Busch, 2B
  8. Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF
  9. Miguel Amaya, C

Nico Hoerner (hand fracture) has so far avoided the Injured List, but he remains out of the Cubs lineup for at least one more night. But thankfully, the Cubs are seemingly content to roll with Michael Busch at second base instead of David Bote. It’s probably a bigger risk defensively to go with Busch over Bote, but I prefer rolling the dice on the offensive upside nonetheless.

With Busch at second, first is open for Cody Bellinger, which allows the Cubs to keep Pete Crow-Armstrong in center field. That combination also leaves DH open for Mike Tauchman, with Seiya Suzuki in right and Chris Morel at third.

Really, it’s a pretty straight-forward group outside of Busch at second base.

Setting all that aside, hopefully you didn’t miss this:

Tampa Bay Rays Lineup:

  1. Yandy Diaz, 1B
  2. Brandon Lowe, DH
  3. Isaac Paredes, 3B
  4. Josh Lowe, RF
  5. Randy Arozarena, LF
  6. Richie Palacios, 2B
  7. Jose Siri, CF
  8. Ben Rortvedt, C
  9. Taylor Walls, SS

Pitching Matchup:

Chicago Cubs: Jameson Taillon, RHP

Jameson Taillon’s last start against the White Sox was pretty brutal: 10 hits and 5 earned runs in 5.0 IP against the worst team in baseball. He did manage to limit the hard contact well enough, but there were still 18 balls put in play and most of them not on the ground (27.8 GB%). The Rays offense isn’t killer either, but he’ll have to be much better if he wants to avoid a repeat of the Sox start.

Tampa Bay Rays: Zach Eflin, RHP

Zach Eflin hasn’t gotten amazing results this season (4.14 ERA), but he does have a much more impressive 3.48 xERA and 3.54 FIP. And that’s due, in large part, to the TINY 1.5% walk rate (lowest in MLB, min. 60.0 IP). The dude just does not give up free passes. So the Cubs lineup will likely have to hit its way to a win tonight. That said, it is doable. Eflin had three nice starts early in the season, keeping the Rangers to one run over 6.1 IP before keeping the Angels (6.1) and Yankees (6.0 IP) scoreless for a couple quality starts in a row. But since then, he’s allowed 17 ER in 33.2 IP (4.54 ERA), and that includes two starts against the pitiful White Sox.

Broadcast Info:

Chicago Cubs (32-34) vs Tampa Bay Rays (31-35) at 5:50 pm CT – Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score


Chicago Cubs:

  • Yency Almonte, RP
  • Colten Brewer, RP
  • Caleb Kilian, SP
  • Julian Merryweather, RP
  • Adbert Alzolay, RP
  • Tampa Bay Rays:

  • Richard Lovelady, RP
  • Jeffrey Springs, SP
  • Drew Rasmussen, SP
  • Shane McClanahan, SP
  • Jacob Waguespack, SP
  • written by

    Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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