Chicago Cubs Lineup: Happ Leads Off, Javy Hits Second, Q Looks for Answers

Albert Almora Jr. must still be under the weather, since he’s out of the lineup for the second straight game, this time with a lefty on the mound. Ian Happ will once again lead off in center, followed by Javy Baez playing and batting second. That means Kris Bryant is batting and playing third.

Willson Contreras is catching and cleaning up, Ben Zobrist is in left, Addison Russell is at short, and Victor Caratini is playing first. Jason Heyward is playing right and rounding out the lineup against his original team.

Jose Quintana will be on the mound for the third time and is aiming to build off of his most recent start, in which he threw six innings of three-hit ball. He also struck out six while only walking two, nearly the opposite of his disastrous outing in Miami. Q has gone six innings in each of his starts and the Cubs could really use more of the same in this one.

It’ll be an all-lefty matchup in this one as Sean Newcomb takes the hill for the Braves. The 6-foot-5 24-year-old has struck out 15 in just over 10 innings this season and he’s done it with a big fastball that sits 94 and can flash a few ticks higher. The heater makes up just over half of his offerings, with a curve and change filling in the rest.

Neither of those ancillaries is particularly valuable, but the fastball has good life and the Cubs will see plenty of it. Newcomb will use the curveball to get grounders, while the change will generate the most swings and most misses.

Newcomb has been extraordinarily split-neutral over the course of his career, giving up nearly identical slash lines to both lefties and righties. What really stands out are his home/road splits, which clearly favor his performance away from Sun Trust Park. Newcomb allows just a .676 OPS on the road against an .827 at home.

Even though he gives up only a .224 average as a visitor, Newcomb puts hitters on base at a .330 clip. But since he allows only a .346 slugging percentage, the Cubs may have to manufacture a run or three in this one. That may not seem like the best prospect given their early results, but I’ve got a feeling about this one.

First pitch is set for 1:20pm CT and can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago or heard on 670 The Score.

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