With Wednesday’s matinee pushed back by inclement weather, the Cubs and Cards will be back at it this afternoon with the same lineup we saw yesterday. Because the game was called early and no one got out to warm up, the pitching matchups will be the same as well. That said, I’m going to repeat myself a bit here.
The Cubs have fared relatively well against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in 15 previous meetings, though this particular lineup has only 63 total at-bats — 41 of which come from Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero — against him. You’ve got to figure the top of the order is raring to get off the schneid here soon. It’s a small sample, but the Cubs’ first four batters this afternoon are only 3-for-25 (.120) on the young season.
Kyle Schwarber and his 1.000 leadoff OBP will once again serving as the offensive catalyst, while Kris Bryant (0-for-9 with 4 strikeouts) is primed to make something happen behind him. Rizzo looks like he’s been this close *makes pinching gesture with index finger and thumb* to really solid contact and he’s got a career mark of .345 with a pair of home runs in 29 at-bats against Lynn. Maybe the bats will replace the thunder that blew through STL yesterday.
Ben Zobrist is back in the cleanup spot and making his first start at second base, with Addison Russell and Jason Heyward following him. Miguel Montero makes his first appearance behind the plate and Jon Jay rounds out the order getting his first action in center. Not the most potent setup they can field, but Joe Maddon needs to rotate all these guys in there and get them some time early.
John Lackey takes the bump and looks to mimic the early start in St. Louis last season in which he struck out 11 Cardinals over seven shutout innings. The 38-year-old righty has always performed well at Busch Stadium, putting up a career 2.02 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in just over 169 innings pitched. Nice.