The Cubs are riding a four-game winning streak and keep finding ways to produce W’s even when they’re not scoring many runs. Starting pitching continues to be a strength, but now the bullpen is starting to carry its weight in limiting opponents deep in games. And don’t look now, but Kris Bryant is starting to hit.
Bryant leads off once again, followed by Anthony Rizzo at first and Javy Báez at short. Kyle Schwarber is the DH again, Willson Contreras is catching, and Jason Heyward moves back up to bat sixth. Steven Souza Jr. is in left, Jason Kipnis plays second, and Ian Happ is in center.
Kyle Hendricks is on the mound for the third time as he looks to use some of that Wrigley magic to wash off the stank of the whoopin’ the Reds put on him last week. You don’t really need me to rehash that outing or provide a breakdown of what Hendricks does, right? Good, didn’t think so.
Going for the Royals is 24-year-old birthday boy Brady Singer, a righty who was drafted 18th overall in 2018 and shot through the system in just one season. This will be Singer’s third start after a pair of five-inning no-decisions against Cleveland and Detroit, both solid efforts that featured two earned runs apiece. The rookie isn’t a big-time strikeout pitcher, not even in the minors, but he throws strikes and keeps the ball in the yard when his stuff is working.
Perhaps the most unique facet of Singer’s game is that, at least according to pitch-tracking metrics available through FanGraphs, he doesn’t throw a four-seam fastball. Nearly 55% of his pitches are sinkers, with 40% sliders and a few changeups thrown in for good measure. The breaking ball has betrayed him in the early going, though, and is responsible for a pair of homers by the Tigers and six of the eight total hits he’s allowed.
If the slider turns into a cement mixer and there’s even a hint of a breeze blowing out, this could turn into a long night for the rookie. Or maybe it’d be a short night.
First pitch is once again set for 7:15pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 4, 2020