Chicago Cubs Lineup (9/4/21): Ortega Leads Off, Contreras Returns, Hendricks Pitching

Rafael Ortega will lead off and play center, followed by Frank Schwindel at first and Ian Happ in left. Willson Contreras has been activated from the IL after missing over three weeks with a sprained knee and will bat cleanup as the catcher. Patrick Wisdom is at third, Matt Duffy is at second, Jason Heyward is in right, and Sergio Alcántara is the shortstop.

Kyle Hendricks hasn’t exactly been ace-like over the course of the season, even if his 14 wins put him second in MLB in that category. His 4.43 ERA is actually better than his 4.49 xFIP, 4.82 xERA, and 4.84 FIP say he should be and his .303 BABIP against is the highest of his career. He has also given up a career-high 28 homers and will almost certainly end the season with his most hits allowed in a season.

Hendricks has surrendered 22 earned runs over his last 21.1 innings, and that includes a start against the Reds in which he gave up one run in six innings. He still walked three with just three strikeouts in that one, so it wasn’t all pretty. In three starts against the Pirates this year, the 31-year-old has allowed 10 earned runs (12 total) over 15 innings and has 12 strikeouts with four walks.

As of post time, the Pirates have yet to name a starter for the game. Not that it matters because whoever they send to the bump is going to get shelled.

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

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