Chicago Cubs Lineup (7/27/19): Garcia Leads Off, Contreras Second, Schwarber Eighth, Lester Tries to Make Brewers Sick

Holy cow, this is something else. Joe Maddon is going with Robel Garcia at the top spot in the order and playing second, followed by Willson Contreras catching in the two hole and Kris Bryant back in the third spot at third base. Anthony Rizzo cleans up, Javy Báez is at short, Jason Heyward plays right, Ian Happ is in center, and Kyle Schwarber is in left.

This is probably a more balanced lineup than we’ve seen in a while, but boy is it different. Maybe the Cubs can ride it to more than two runs this evening.

The Cubs are facing Chase Anderson, who’s actually been really good recently. He’s been in the rotation since late April and really caught his stride over the last two months, posting a 2.59 ERA over his last six starts. Those results may speak to regression, though, since his .250 ERA and 0.57 HR/9 are well below his season and career marks.

The 31-year-old righty has actually seen a jump in his fastball velocity this season, dialing it up to the mid-90’s and sitting around 93 mph. But his cutter has been key to the recent surge and he’s throwing it more than ever while going to the sinker less frequently. Anderson is also using his changeup more and his curveball less.

The effectiveness of the changeup has resulted in serious reverse split, with lefties hitting .169 with a .527 OPS and righties hitting .293 with an .877 OPS. As you might imagine, Bryant (1.099 OPS, 3 HR) and Willson Contreras (1.563 OPS, 1 HR) have really tuned Anderson up over the last few seasons. Báez, however, has just a .192 OPS and may be primed to break out.

Jon Lester was scratched from his last start due to illness, but the Cubs still managed to win in San Francisco and it set the lefty up to pitch an even bigger game. He’s got a 2.35 ERA in nine starts against the Brewers and is exactly the kind of bulldog the Cubs need on the mound in this one.

Well, as long as he can avoid Ryan Braun (.982 OPS) and Lorenzo Cain (.887). Lester has allowed no home runs to any member of the Brewers’ roster, so he should really see about keeping that trend in place tonight.

First pitch from Milwaukee is at 6:10pm CT on ABC-7 and 670 The Score.

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