Chicago Cubs Lineup: Lackey on the Hill, Soler in Left, Contreras Catching
The Chicago Cubs (69-41) are red-hot entering the series against the Los Angeles Angels (49-62), having won seven straight games. They will open the two game set tonight at Wrigley Field with John Lackey (8-7, 3.70) set to take the mound for the Cubs.
Lackey has had a lot of trouble lately getting out of the first two innings without giving up runs, which he’s been unable to do now for six straight games. That stretch includes games against the likes of the Reds, Pirates, Brewers and White Sox, not exactly offensive power houses. In fact, while the Angels pitching has been atrocious, their offense is ranked ninth in the majors. That’s higher than any of the aforementioned teams that Lackey has had problems with. So keep an eye on how John does in the first couple innings tonight.
Joe Maddon has Jorge Soler in the lineup batting fifth tonight and playing left field. Jorge had five RBIs and two home runs as designated hitter in the series against the A’s. That’s some healthy production from him and something he should be able to build on in his return to the field tonight.
Willson Contreras, who’s been winning over Cubs starting pitchers with his dynamic personality and astute baseball acumen, is behind the plate tonight catching for John Lackey.
Javier Baez, who’s batting .290/.296/.420 so far in the second half, has the night off and will give Joe a nice option off the bench should he need it.
Tuesday 8/9 7:05pm WGN
John Lackey (R)
vs. Angels – Jered Weaver (R)
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) 2B
5. Jorge Soler (R) LF
6. Jason Heyward (L) RF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Willson Contreras (R) C
9. John Lackey (R) P