Anthony Rizzo is getting a rare day of rest Saturday, so the lineup has shifted around a bit. Kyle Schwarber is still leading off left with Kris Bryant batting second at third base, but Javy Báez slides up to bat third and Willson Contreras is in the cleanup spot.
The Cubs are facing 29-year-old Zack Wheeler, a righty who has allowed 11 home runs over his last seven starts. Wheeler boasts a big fastball that sits 97 mph and can touch higher, following it with a firm change at 89-90 mph. It’s all about the velo difference and mixing those pitches, since his slider hasn’t been very effective.
Wheeler has pitched to almost identical platoon splits, but he’s really had a rough go of it away from Citi Field. Lefty batters have an .832 OPS and .349 wOBA against him when he’s on the road, though righties are responsible for six of the nine homers he’s allowed as a visitor. After yesterday’s wet fart, the Cubs need to get something going early in this one.
José Quintana takes the bump for the home team coming off of a pair of decidedly meh starts out west. He needs to be sharper this afternoon, though it shouldn’t take some kind of lights-out work to keep the Cubs in it. As always, the key for Q is throwing early strikes and keeping the ball down.
First pitch is set for 1:20pm CT on ABC-7 or 670 The Score.
Here is today's #Cubs starting lineup.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 22, 2019