Chicago Cubs Lineup: Albert and Javy Stay Up Top, Happ Hits Sixth, Bote Debuts

We saw Joe Maddon run out the same lineup the last two games, but there are some notable changes in Saturday’s lineup. Namely, Ian Happ is back in the lineup after taking a brief sabbatical and will hit sixth, while Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward take a day off against a lefty. David Bote, who got the call up this afternoon to replace Ben Zobrist, will make his Major League debut and play third base, moving Kris Bryant to right field. The top of the order remains the same as the duo of Almora and Baez look to continue setting the pace in front of Bryzzo and Willson Contreras. Albert collected his first career four hit game last night, and Javy fell just a triple short of the cycle while pushing his OPS to 1.113.

Facing the Cubs red hot lineup will be 28 year-old lefty Tyler Anderson. In parts of three seasons with the Rockies, Anderson has posted a 4.14 ERA with a 4.13 FIP in 219.1 innings. So far in 2018 Anderson has thrown 19.0 innings across four starts and has a 4.74 ERA/4.88 FIP to show for it. Anderson has also seen a rise in his BB% to more than double any previous season at 14.1%. The lefty’s arsenal includes a fastball that sits around 91 MPH along with a cutter, curveball, and changeup. The Cubs didn’t face Anderson during the 2017 season, but they did see him in August of 2016 at Wrigley Field. The eventual World Champion Chicago Cubs scored five runs on Anderson over seven innings with Addison Russell (and Dexter Fowler) taking him deep.

After Kyle Hendricks picked up his first win of 2018 Friday night in Colorado, the Cubs will turn to Yu Darvish to keep things rolling on Saturday night. He and the Cubs will be hoping for more of what we saw in Milwaukee (6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9 K, 1 BB) rather than against the Marlins and Braves (combined 9.0 IP, 14 H, 9 ER, 8 K, 6 BB). One key for Darvish heading into Saturday’s start will be managing his pitch count. In the two sub-par performances, Yu threw over 100 pitches without getting through the fifth inning. Command is the name of the game as avoiding free passes and running deep counts on hitters will allow Darvish to work deeper into the game. Darvish did face the Rockies in 2017 while with the Dodgers going 4.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 6 K, 2 BB.

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