Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/16/21) – Contreras Leads Off, Bryant in RF, Hendricks on Bump

Willson Contreras will lead off for the Cubs at catcher, followed by Kris Bryant in right and Anthony Rizzo at first. Javy Báez is the shortstop, Matt Duffy is at third, David Bote is the DH, and Joc Pederson is in left. Nico Hoerner at second and Ian Happ in center round things out.

Kyle Hendricks is still searching for any semblance of consistency as he continues to alternate between poor and excellent performances. He was stung by awful luck in his last outing, so here’s to hoping the baseball gods smile upon him in this one.

Going for the Tigers is lefty Matthew Boyd, who has looked like an ace through seven starts this season. He’s not getting much run support and will need to be at his best if the Cubs can keep hitting, especially with his more traditional southpaw approach.

Boyd’s 92 mph fastball isn’t intimidating, but he’s able to locate it masterfully in order to get called strikes and weak contact. Only eight qualified pitchers allow less than Boyd’s 5% barrel rate, so even getting 65% of his contact in the air hasn’t hurt him. It’ll be interesting to see whether the scorching hot Pederson, who has a terrible barrel rate even during this stretch, can get anything done against the lefty.

Because he’s not a traditional “stuff” guy, Boyd doesn’t necessarily boast pronounced platoon splits. Through excellent location and sequencing, he fools batters with a mix of that fastball and a changeup that is among the best in the game. Watch for him to pull the string frequently to keep Cubs hitters guessing. Boyd also has a very good slider and he’ll toss a curve or sinker every now and again.

This is a game the Cubs really need to have after dropping Saturday’s affair in extras, so Hendricks is going to need to be sharp and the hitters must get to Boyd early and often.

First pitch from Comerica is set for 12:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score. Those of you who’ve cut the cord can watch the game on fuboTV – check out a free trial of fuboTV to see if you like it.

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