Chicago Cubs Lineup (4/21/21): Happ in LF, Bryant in RF, Marisnick in CF, Davies on Mound

Ian Happ leads off in left, followed by Willson Contreras and then Kris Bryant, who moves up from the cleanup spot. Anthony Rizzo bats fourth, Javy Báez is at short, Matt Duffy is at third, David Bote is at second after missing a game due to illness, and Jake Marisnick is in center. This is a lineup meant to counter the lefty they’ll be facing.

Zach Davies has not looked good since his first start of the season, allowing 11 earned runs on 12 hits while walking six and striking out just three across 5.2 innings. The good news is that he didn’t serve up a dinger in either of those last two games, so let’s hope the impending correction is in his overall results and not the hard contact he gives up. That means he needs the fastball to be better than it has been.

Facing the Cubs is sophomore southpaw David Peterson, a big sinker-baller who has generated big strikeout numbers so far. His 15 strikeouts in 10 innings were boosted by 10 K’s over six innings in his most recent start against the Phillies in which he allowed just one run on three hits. That run came on a homer and he allowed two in his season debut, so maybe he hangs a pitch or three tonight.

That shouldn’t really be expected since Peterson was known for limiting the longball in his brief minor league tenure. After being chosen with the 20th overall selection in the 2017 draft, he spent parts of three seasons in the minors before making 10 appearances for the Mets last season. Despite his limited experience, Peterson knows how to pitch.

The Cubs have trouble with lefties in the past and they also seem to struggle against pitchers they’ve never seen before, which could be part of their inexplicable issues of the past few years. Getting over on Peterson and the Mets won’t exorcise all those demons, but it sure would be nice to get a series win after four straight losses. They’ll be able to do just that if Peterson keeps missing with pretty much everything other than the sinker.

It’s going to be another chilly night at Wrigley, though, and the air figures to be a little heavy, so this might be another one in which runs must be manufactured. I know, I know, that isn’t exactly how this team gets down. Maybe they’ll surprise us.

First pitch is set for 6:40pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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