Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/1/20) – Hoerner at 2B, Happ in CF, Chatwood Starting

Update: Kris Bryant was a last-minute scratch, though no reason was given as of game time.

Ian Happ is leading off in his place, with David Bote playing third and batting eighth.

KB is out with gastrointestinal issues.

The Cubs picked up another W last night on the strength of an offense that is pressing the issue and making things happen. That’s not the case for the bullpen just yet, but at least they’re getting enough of a cushion that it hasn’t really mattered yet.

Kris Bryant leads off at third, Anthony Rizzo plays first, Javy Báez mans short, and Kyle Schwarber is in left. That top four has been pretty consistent throughout, which is nice to see. Willson Contreras is catching, Jason Heyward bats sixth in right, Nico Hoerner handles second base, and Ian Happ is in center with Victor Caratini as the DH.

Tyler Chatwood is going for the second time this season after a terrific outing in which he struck out eight Brewers with just two walks. The righty appears to be more confident on the mound, a product of pitching well out of the bullpen last season and simplifying his delivery to be less busy. Better late than never, huh?

The Pirates counter with 24-year-old Mitch Keller, a sophomore who faced the Cubs twice last year as a rookie. His velocity numbers were way down in his first start this season, but that could just be a matter of finding his sea legs aboard the Jolly Roger. Keller’s fastball was only at 92 but has traditionally been around 95, then he complements it a slider and curve.

Lefties absolutely destroyed him last season, posting a .374/.427/.535 slash and .707 wOBA, though righties weren’t that far behind. Keller managed to beat the Cardinals in his first outing despite walking more men that he struck out, so I’m very interested to see how he comes out in this one. He appeared to be overly cautious, a strategy that won’t play well the way the Cubs are hitting.

First pitch from Wrigley is set for 7:15pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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