Chicago Cubs Lineup (7/16/22, Game 1): Stroman Starting, Schwindel at First, Higgins at Third

I can’t blame you if you don’t really care about today’s matchup. With the draft coming up tomorrow and the trade deadline a little over two weeks after, there’s not a whole lot of focus on a team that has lost seven games in a row. For that reason, I’m going to keep this shorter than usual and forego most of the scouting I typically provide.

Marcus Stroman is making his second start since coming off the IL and he’ll try to stretch past the four innings he logged last time out. He allowed no runs on just two hits and a walk against the Dodgers, so it was a very successful appearance. Will another one be enough to revive a trade market that seemed non-existent just a week ago? Probably not, but you’ll hear talk of it if Stroman carves.

Rafael Ortega leads things off for the Cubs tonight playing center, he’s followed by Willson Contreras catching, Ian Happ playing left, Seiya Suzuki in right, and Nico Hoerner at short. Frank Schwindel returns from the IL and is playing first, Patrick Wisdom is DH, P.J. Higgins. Is playing third, and Christopher Morel is at second.

Taijuan Walker is going for the Mets and might be due for a mediocre start if he maintains the pattern of the last month or so. Keep in mind that “mediocre” in this case means allowing three earned runs over six innings, which looks meh compared to giving up a total of one run in 21 innings over the three sandwiching starts.

Over his last six starts, Walker has a 1.85 ERA and 2.00 FIP with 43 strikeouts and eight walks. He has allowed just one homer over 39 innings and his average game score of 69 is further evidence of how nice he’s been. The Cubs’ only real hope in this one might be to go up there aggressively because Walker doesn’t have tremendous swing-and-miss stuff despite the K numbers.

If nothing else, having two games today will provide a backdrop for an afternoon nap and an evening of relaxation. First pitch is at 1:20pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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