Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/3/19): Descalso Leads Off, Zobrist in RF, Hendricks Tries to Bore Cards

Daniel Descalso is batting leadoff and playing second base, Kris Bryant is back at third after a couple games at DH to rest a tight hammy, and Anthony Rizzo is at first. Javy Báez remains the Cubs’ cleanup man at short, Willson Contreras is catching, and Ben Zobrist is in right. Kyle Schwarber in left and Jason Heyward in center round out the order.

Every one of these hitters, with maybe the exception of Zo, has really flashed hot at points this season. Bryant and Rizzo in particular are turning around after slow starts, while Javy and WillCo have maintained torrid paces all season. They’ll need to be on point against a young starter who appears to be emerging as the Cards’ potential ace.

Going for St. Louis is 23-year-old righty Jack Flaherty, who is anything but boring. He’s striking out six times as many batters as he walks with a repertoire that features a mid-90’s heater, a biting slider, and a changeup that has been really good despite limited use. He’s also given up seven homers in 31 innings, so his mistakes have been punished.

Flaherty is a strike-thrower and has only walked six batters, so Cubs batters can expect to see something in the zone right out of the gate. Lefties will see either four-seam or curve nearly 80% of the time to open plate appearances, righties will see about the same but with the slider as the secondary.

Those respective mixes stay pretty similar no matter the count, though lefties will see more sliders instead of curves and righties will get a few more sinkers. If the Cubs can time Flaherty up, they have a very good chance to continue mashing like we saw in Seattle recently. If, however, they start flailing at the breaking stuff, it could be a long afternoon.

Kyle Hendricks needs to go out there and just be himself. Too simple? Well, that’s because it is. Hendricks has yet to find that groove in which everything is working for him, struggling at times with his movement and location. If he’s not hitting his spots and getting that sinker down, his changeup just isn’t as effective.

He was on point against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley, striking out 11 with a wicked changeup, but he was roughed up badly against the same team in Arizona in his most recent start. The Cubs need the former version this afternoon.

First pitch from Wrigley is at 1:20pm CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago or heard on 670 The Score.

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