In a few hours, the Chicago Cubs will host the Miami Marlins for the first game of a best-of-three playoff series at Wrigley Field. Sandy Alcantara is in the balance for the Cubs in their first game, and this is the manager of the lineup David Ross has chosen for his first post-season game as manager.
Chicago Cubs Program:
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Kris Bryant, 3B
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Javy Baez, SS
8. Victor Caratini, DH
9. Jason Kipnis, 2B
As we discussed, Alcantara REALLY brings significant left-handed / right-handed divisions this season, so Ross was certainly right to charge left-handed:
v. LHH: .268 / .366 / .493 (.369 wOBA)
v. RHH: .1
With Happ, Rizzo, Schwarber, Heyward, Caratini and Kipnis starting today’s game, the Marlins will face six batters from their weaker side of the pot. Of course, as it turns out, those nine hitters are probably the closest thing to the Cubs regular nine starters, so everything works pretty smoothly.
Relatively, Brett just wrote this about Alcantara, lefties and the current weather at Wrigley Field:
Sandy Alcantara, however, is also a great groundball pitcher – she didn’t have enough innings to qualify, but if she did, her 49.1% groundball rate would have been 13th in baseball. The good news for a left-handed Cubs lineup? His groundball rate against lefties is a paltry 27.5%. In fact, lefties hit his flying balls with an incredibly high clip of 45.1%. Don’t tell the Cubs hitters so they don’t lose their pace, but man, today is shaping up to be a PERFECT day for the Cubs left-handed hitters to hit a lot of homers.
Meanwhile on the bench, David Bote awaits his chance to dent a double out, at the end of the game, an RBI pinch, Billy Hamilton waits to steal a base and Nico Hoerner waits to improve the defense. This is a good group and today the playoff march begins.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin post closer to play time (1:08 CT).