Chicago Cubs Lineup: Hendricks takes on the Rangers, Contreras Behind the Plate, Almora in CF

Now that the all-star break is behind us it’s time to get serious. The second half of the season for the Chicago Cubs (53-35) is going to be a lot of fun. And what better way to get is started than a day game at Wrigley field against the Texas Rangers (54-36), the top team in the American League.

Kyle Hendricks (7-6, 2.55 ERA) will take the ball today and, surprisingly perhaps, he has the lowest ERA amongst all Cubs’ starting pitchers. In fact, his 3.46 FIP is second only to Jake Arrieta, who stands at an FIP of 3.06. Who would’ve thought that Kyle would’ve had such a tremendous, yet often overlooked, first half of the season. Believe it or not, Kyle’s ERA ranks sixth in the majors amongst all starting pitchers.

Joe Maddon has Ben Zobrist starting in the musical chair that has become left field. Javier Baez will fill in for Ben at second base today.

Albert Almora assumes his natural position in center field and Willson Contreras is stationed at catcher. And it looks like Jason Heyward has found a new home batting sixth in the lineup. Over his last 7 games – all of which he’s batted sixth in the order – he’s slashing a healthy .357/.438/.500¬†with a mere K% of 3.1 and wRC+ of 154. Those are much closer to the numbers Cubs fans expected to see from him when he signed on in the offseason.

Let’s play ball!

Friday 7/15 1:20pm
Kyle Hendricks (R)
vs. Rangers – Martin Perez (L)
1. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Willson Contreras (R) C
5. Addison Russell (R) SS
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Javier Baez (R) 2B
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) CF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P

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