Anthony Rizzo leads off yet again, followed by Albert Almora Jr., Jason Heyward, and Javy Baez at short. Ben Zobrist bats fifth and plays second, Kyle Schwarber is in left, and Ian Happ is at third. Victor Caratini is batting ninth and catching.
Notably absent is David Bote, one of the heroes of lats night’s game. Is it crazy that it seems strange when he’s not in the lineup?
Mike Montgomery has been very solid since being pressed into a rotation role, and that includes his most recent start last week against the Cards. Though the Cubs took the loss, Monty gave them six innings of one-run ball and kept them in a position to win.
He wasn’t spectacular in that one, but he kept the ball on the ground and in the ballpark. If the Cubs can actually provide him some run support, another such outing should result in a win. Depending on what happens now that Cole Hamels is in the fold, this could also be Montgomery’s last regular start for a while. Of course, that would mean Tyler Chatwood remaining in the rotation. Decisions, decisions.
Like Montgomery, Luke Weaver’s last start also came on July 21, though he started in the earlier game of the split double-header. His lack of control led to five walks and an early exit as the Cubs waited the Cards out and pounced late for an easy win.
This will be Weaver’s fourth start against the Cubs, the previous three of which have lasted only four innings. While he hasn’t allowed a homer to them yet, he’s given up 13 runs on 22 hits and seven walks. Simply put, he isn’t fooling Cubs hitters.
He appeared to struggle with the changeup and threw it much less frequently than usual in that last one, leaning more heavily on the fastball. Since he basically scrapped the cutter a few starts ago, losing the feel for his change mades Weaver just a fastball/curve pitcher. The 94 mph heater can actually be pretty good for him, just not when it’s really the only solid pitch in his bag.
Weaver has actually been a little worse at home this year, so look for the Cubs to continue that trend. Lefties have hit him particularly well at Busch, compiling a .315/.368/.511 slash with a .375 wOBA across 96 batters. I’ve got a feeling Rizzo rides his hot streak by belting the Cubs’ first homer against Weaver this year.
First pitch from St. Louis is at 7:15pm CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago or MLB Network (out of market only), with 670 The Score handling the radio call.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 27, 2018