Chicago Cubs Lineup: Cubs on a Roll, Going for Series Sweep Behind Red-Hot Hendricks
The Chicago Cubs (68-41) are winners of six straight games and nine of their last ten. They also boast a 10.5 game lead – two games shy of their biggest lead this season – over the second place St. Louis Cardinals (58-52).
The Cubs take on the Oakland Athletics (48-62) today with their newly minted ace Kyle Hendricks (10-7, 2.22 ERA) taking the ball. If they win today, completing the series sweep, it would be only the second time this year that the Cubs have registered back-to-back sweeps, going back to early May, when they swept Pittsburgh followed by Washington.
Speaking of Kyle Hendricks, he’s been getting better and better as the season has progressed. He’s becoming a master at pitching with men-on-base. His LOB% has steadily increased throughout the season to an incredible 90.2% in July. That helps to explain his 1.07 ERA, which is tops in July among starting pitchers with 20+ innings pitched.
Joe Maddon is giving Jason Heyward the day off today and Ben Zobrist will move to right field in his place. Javier Baez will play second base for the Cubs and he’ll bat eighth in the order.
Willson Contreras is catching today for Hendricks. Contreras has been steadily improving as a catcher in his rookie year and the Cubs pitchers are starting to notice.
Sunday 8/7 3:05pm WGN
Kyle Hendricks (R)
@ Athletics – Sean Manaea (L)
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) RF
5. Addison Russell (R) SS
6. Jorge Soler (R) DH
7. Willson Contreras (R) C
8. Javier Baez (R) 2B
9. Matt Szczur (R) LF