Chicago Cubs Lineup: Bryant in LF, Javy at 3B, Lester Back on Mound

Daniel Murphy leads off at second, Kris Bryant is in left, Anthony Rizzo bats third at first, and Javy Baez cleans up at third base. Ben Zobrist is in right, Albert Almora Jr. is in center, Willson Contreras catches, and Addison Russell bats ninth at short.

Jon Lester is on the bump three days after his last appearance, the one in which he threw just one inning before the game was delayed and cancelled. So that’s fun. He’s going to need to be on it tonight against a Brewers team that has all kinds of momentum and confidence going for them as they roll in with a chance to take over the division lead.

Wade Miley is facing the Cubs for the second straight start, the first of which saw him stifle the visitors for six innings. Miley allowed only three hits and struck out five with no walks to collect the win. There was much angst in Cubdom over the seeming inability to get over on this middling hurler, but the 31-year-old lefty has actually been really good this season.

Ed. note: Much of the following scouting info is recycled from the lineup post on September 4 because it’s still timely.

The cutter is Miley’s go-to pitch and he’s really upped his usage of this pitch here in 2018, going to it nearly 40 percent of the time. The Cubs actually saw said offering on 49 of the 96 pitches Miley threw them, so expect more of the same tonight. The four-seam, curve, and change will factor in around 15 percent apiece, while the sinker and slider make up the rest.

Lefties will see the four-seam more frequently on the first pitch, righties will get a lot of sinkers. The cutter takes over from there, but Miley is pretty comfortable throwing just about any of his offerings in any count to any hitter. Largely due to the changes in his repertoire and the effectiveness of that main pitch, he’s actually a reverse-split guy this season after having a pretty distinct platoon split for his career.

Things even out of the road, where Miley has been equally tough on all hitters. He doesn’t give up many homers, so the Cubs probably can’t plan to mash their way to a win in this one. And Miley has only walked four batters over his last five starts, so they may not get much in the way of free runners. This one is going to be all about taking advantage of every mistake.

First pitch is at 7:05pm CT on NBC Sports Chicago and 670 The Score.

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