Chicago Cubs Lineup: Murphy Leads Off, Caratini Catching, Happ in CF, Quintana Pitching

The top four in the order continues pretty much as we’d expect, with Daniel Murphy leading off at second, Kris Bryant in left, Anthony Rizzo at first, and Ben Zobrist in right. Javy Baez moves back to short, Tommy La Stella is at third, Victor Caratini is catching, and Ian Happ bats last in center.

Many of you are no doubt upset by the absence of David Bote, but you’ll notice that Joe Maddon is going with only two righty bats against a tough right-handed starter. And while La Stella is La less than ideal at third, it’s well worth it to have Javy at short ahead of the struggling Addison Russell.

Kyle Schwarber remains out with a sore back, though he’ll be available off the bench for Maddon to use as chum to attract sharks in the late innings.

Jose Quintana was asked to play stopper against the Brewers in Milwaukee last week and he’s getting a request for an encore tonight in Chicago. He went 6.2 innings in that earlier effort, holding the Brewers to two runs and putting the Cubs in position to get out of Milwaukee with a win. More of that in this one would be nice.

The Cubs’ opponent Tuesday night is the same as it was in that last win as well, with Jhoulys Chacin taking the bump for the Brewers. The 30-year-old righty is making what feels like his 17th start against the Cubs this season, but my brief research reveals that it’s actually only his fourth.

Chacin completely dominated the Cubs in the first two of those appearances, wiping them out with his trademark slider. His breaking ball went begging last week, however, resulting in as many hits (7) as he’d given up to them in two previous games. Most of the damage came from lefties, which has been the case for Chacin all season.

To put it more accurately, righties have done virtually nothing against him. That’s particularly true when he pitches on the road, since he’s held righties to a .166/.243/.278 slash with a .234 wOBA away from Miller Park. Let’s hope the clubhouse attendants forgot to pack his slider for the road trip.

It may be a little much to call this a must-win game, but the division lead is on the line and the Cubs have to play better than they have over the last few games. A win here ensures that they’ll head into the series against the Reds with at least a share of lead.

First pitch is at 7:05pm CT on WGN and 670 The Score, so have your paper bags and stress balls ready.

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