Chicago Cubs Lineup (7/23/21): Ortega Leads Off, Bryant in LF, Duffy Returns, Davies Pitching in Zac(h) Attack

Rafael Ortega has been the Cubs’ hottest hitter of late and he’ll lead off in center as the Diamondbacks come to town. Kris Bryant returns to the lineup playing left, Anthony Rizzo is at first, Javier Báez is at short, and Matt Duffy is back playing third. Jason Heyward is in right, Nico Hoerner is at second, and Robinson Chirinos is catching.

Zach Davies takes the mound for what might be the last time in a Cubs uniform, so perhaps he can break free from his recent mediocrity. He hasn’t gotten into the 6th inning in any of his last four starts and hasn’t completed the 5th in three of those. Just as it’s been all season, the big issue is control and efficiency. Davies has walked 11 men and struck out 13 in that stretch, with just three Ks to four BBs in his last effort.

Righty Zac Gallen is making his second consecutive start against the Cubs after more or less shutting them down over 5.2 innings back in the desert. That was one of his two best starts of the season and he did it by inducing a ton of grounders when he wasn’t busy missing bats. Gallen threw more sliders and changeups than usual, which makes sense when you see the seven strikeouts and 75% groundball rate.

His fastball sits around 94 and he throws it over 50% of the time with good enough location to set up his other stuff very effectively. His slider is also a solid pitch that tends to get a little sloppy if he throws it as a cutter, but he had things dialed in last week.

That’s not great news for the Cubs because Gallen has been much better on the road so far this year, holding opponents to a .202 average and .645 OPS. He’s absolutely destroyed right-handed hitters to the tune of a .146 average and .555 OPS. Lefties are at .261 and .740, so maybe there’s a little hope.

First pitch from Wrigley is set for 1:20pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.

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