Chicago Cubs Lineup (5/7/19): Lester Faces Fish, Almora Leads Off, Baez Batting Cleanup

Joe Maddon has slotted Albert Almora in the leadoff spot tonight for the Chicago Cubs, followed by Kris Bryant at third, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Baez batting cleanup. Willson Contreras is batting fifth, and he is followed by David Bote at 2B, Jason Heyward in RF, and Ben Zobrist in LF. Jon Lester is on the hill.

Going for the Marlins is lefty Caleb Smith, perhaps the lone legitimate reason to want to watch Marlins games. The 27-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA over six starts and has struck out 45 batters to just nine walks. And I know a pitcher’s record isn’t the measure of his talent, but it’s pretty impressive to be 3-0 given the Marlins’ general putrescence.

Smith relies upon just three pitches, anchored by a low-90’s fastball that he is able to locate to avoid too much damage. From there, he’ll go with a slider and change to keep batters guessing and missing. An 11.25 K/9 mark and 16.8% swinging-strike rate means Smith misses a ton of bats.

The Cubs are going to strike out in this one, about that there can be no doubt. With eight strikeouts in four of his six starts, Smith is going to get some guys with his secondaries. But he’s given up a homer in each of his last two starts and allows a lot of contact in the air. If the Cubs can make Smith pay for early mistakes, they should be able to disrupt his rhythm.

Going for the home team is Jon Lester, who’s been as good as ever this season. By mixing speed and location to near perfection, Lester is putting up better strikeout numbers than we’ve seen from him as a Cub and there’s no reason to believe that slows down tonight.

First pitch from Wrigley is at 7:05pm CT and can be found on NBC Sports Chicago+ or 670 The Score.

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Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and co-founder of Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College.

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8 Comments

  1. Why is Mark Zagunis on the roster? He never plays has a .296 OPS, yes OPS since the 6th game of the season going 2-for-19 with 12 K’s. If we are going to waster a roster spot like this I wish we kept TLS who could at least be a good PH.

    Happ is starting to make a push to come back to the majors. so maybe Ian or Russell can get added soon.

    Last 10 games
    .314/.432/.486/.918
    .277 BABIP
    2 HR, 2 K, 7 BB

    Heyward since the 20th of April
    .220/.333/.366/.699 with help from Fowler on that misplay triple.

    1. LaStella was a crybaby pain in the ass who wouldnt be hitting like this in the NL. Yes hes hitting well but its May. Wait till August and see if you can make that comment. As far as Z , yes someone else should be taking his roster spot but not Happ or Russell.

      1. I would be happy to have the 2018 TLS just to PH in 90 games last year .312/.398/.416/.813 at least he didn’t make for a 100% wasted roster spot.

      2. I would be happy to have the 2018 TLS just to PH in 90 games last year .312/.398/.416/.813 at least he didn’t make for a 100% wasted roster spot.

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