Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/4/21, Game 1): Contreras Leads Off, Bryant in RF, Vargas at 2B, Hendricks Pitching

Rain postponed what was originally scheduled for a Monday night affair, so this one will be the first half of a split 7-inning doubleheader. Willson Contreras leads off at catcher, followed by Kris Bryant in right, Anthony Rizzo at first, and Javier Baez at short. Matt Duffy is in left, David Bote is at third, Jake Marisnick is in center, and Ildemaro Vargas is at second.

In case you missed the earlier news, yes, there have been some roster moves.

Kyle Hendricks has not pitched well this season as he fails to locate his pitches well, resulting in frequent hard contact. He’s already given up as many homers and walked as many batters as he did last season in nearly four times as many innings, but maybe that just means he’s due for a great stretch of starts.

Righty Walker Buehler was slated to start Monday’s game, but the Dodgers have opted to keep venerable lefty Clayton Kershaw on his normal schedule rather than push everything back. There really isn’t much you need to know about him when it comes to scouting, just know that he’s still elite and has pretty much always dominated the Cubs.

Kershaw is throwing his slider more than ever, so the point that it’s now become his favorite pitch. He remains a strike-thrower of the highest order with impeccable command, so he’ll be hitting his spots and getting swings at his pitches all afternoon. The Cubs can and have hit homers against him, with seven longballs from today’s lineup, but they’re unlikely to load the bases with walks or hits.

Barring a hiccup from Kershaw, the Cubs need Hendricks to be the ace he’s supposed to be. First pitch is set for 1:20pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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