Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/23/21): Pederson Leads Off, Bryant in RF, Davies on Mound

Joc Pederson leads off tonight’s series finale in left, followed by Kris Bryant in right, Willson Contreras catching, and Anthony Rizzo at first. Javy Báez is at short, Ian Happ is in center, David Bote is at third, and Nico Hoerner is at second.

Zach Davies has made it into the 6th inning in three consecutive games, which is only notable because he hadn’t recorded an out in the 5th inning over five previous starts. The slight righty has only struck out six batters with four walks over his last 17.1 innings and he’s still failing to miss his spots, though it does seem as though he’s getting closer to finding a groove. Even if the Cubs’ bats remain hot, a vintage performance would be nice.

And if it’s not a vintage performance? Well, David Ross needs to have a short leash with the series on the line and a day off tomorrow as the Cubs travel to Pittsburgh.

Going for the home team is old nemesis Adam Wainwright, who is making his 43rd start and 52nd overall appearance against the Cubs. Based on my memory of those previous appearances, I had harbored the idea that he had like a 1.69 ERA and was 47-0 against them, but the results are actually much more pedestrian. His overall results are very much the same, so this isn’t a game in which Cubs hitters should struggle.

Waino still loves his curveball and throws it more than any other pitch, though he’s actually dialed it back slightly from the past few seasons. The cutter and change are getting a little more work, then the sinker is thrown a lot as well. At less than 90 mph, the “hard” stuff isn’t really scaring anyone. The curve and change, on the other hand, can still get the job done.

This will be a matter of not allowing Wainwright to beat them, simple as that. First pitch from St. Louis is at 6:08pm CT on ESPN and 670 The Score.

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