Update (5:00pm CT) : Here is the new lineup after Anthony Rizzo was scratched due to back tightness.
Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound tonight in a ballpark that’s been like a second home to him. In eight starts at Miller Park, Hendricks is 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 44 strikeouts against 10 walks. He’ll be looking for a better outcome than in his last start, which turned into that highly unsatisfying 17-inning marathon.
Ben Zobrist will bat in the leadoff spot for the Cubs for the first time this season. He’s jumped out to a nice start so far this season at the plate and with Ian Happ sitting tonight, he becomes a logical choice for Joe Maddon to insert atop the order. Anthony Rizzo was set to hit third tonight but was scratched due to back tightness.
Kyle Schwarber is back in left field and will bat third in the order against the Brewers’ 25-year-old righty, Brandon Woodruff. Closing out the order will be Addison Russell, Victor Caratini, Jason Heyward, and Javy Baez. Caratini gets the nod at first base in place of Rizzo.
Woodruff was an 11th round pick in 2014 who didn’t exactly set the minors on fire. He did have a solid campaign in 2016, but his 4.30 ERA and 4.44 FIP in AAA last year were decidedly meh. Woodruff made eight starts with the Brewers in 2017, posting a 4.81 ERA and 4.37 FIP with 32 strikeouts and 14 walks in 43 innings.
This will actually be Woodruff’s first start of the season after appearing twice in relief so far (3.1 IP). He gave up three hits and an earned run in each of those outings and he’s struck out three against no walks.
He’s got a big fastball that averages 95 but he doesn’t command it very well and it’s been pretty hittable (.814 OPS). Same goes for the changeup, which actually has a .964 OPS against. The slider is his primary weapon and he’ll use it to get swinging strikes and grounders, so the Cubs will want to avoid those two-strike counts as often as possible.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago+ with the radio call on 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 6, 2018