Chicago Cubs Lineup (4/7/19): Zobrist Leads Off, Heyward in CF, Hendricks Pitching

Ben Zobrist is back in the leadoff spot and playing right, followed by Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javy Báez in their typical spots. Bryant has looked off lately, but it’s a matter of timing and not a recurrence of left shoulder pain. A good game or two could fire him back up.

Kyle Schwarber, who former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden apparently hasn’t watched play since 2015, is in left again with a righty on the mound. The matchup is very favorable for his power stroke, so it feels like he may well make a loud noise this afternoon.

Willson Contreras is catching, Daniel Descalso is at second, and Jason Heyward is in center as he tries to extend his home run binge to three games. Heyward went yard twice Friday night, the first time he’s done so in a Cubs uniform.

Facing the Cubs will be Zach Davies, who’s making his second start of the season. He spent most of 2018 rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he slight righty had been having arguably the worst season of his career to that point, posting a 5.23 ERA and 5.29 FIP with 3.59 BB/9 and 1.47 HR/9 marks.

Davies struck out six but walked four in his first start, so it appears he’s still in something of that same groove from last year. Like his counterpart, the slight righty relies on location and movement to get bad swings and weak contact. When his stuff isn’t working perfectly, though, the swings are fewer and further between and they do more damage.

That tends to happen when your fastball sits 88 and your secondaries all have negative value. Expect to see a lot of sinkers and changeups in this one, with the curve getting some usage as well. Davies avoided the bender his first time out, perhaps because he didn’t have a feel for it, but he had thrown it more than the changes or cutter in the past.

Kyle Hendricks had a rough start last week in Atlanta, which is why it’s important for him to start clean. He gave up four runs in a continuation of a troubling trend that sees him take a while to settle in. With the Brewers jumping on Cubs pitching early and often, starting the rubber game with a collective “Here we go again” would be suboptimal.

There’s no doubt the Cubs are confident in their ability to score runs, so look for them to come out hot in this one when the first pitch is cut loose at 1:10pm CT. NBC Sports Chicago will have the moving pictures and 670 The Score will do the talking for this one.

Back to top button