Chicago Cubs Lineup (6/3/21) – Pederson Leads Off, Alcántara at 3B, Davies Pitching

Joc Pederson leads off in left against his former divisional foes, followed by Kris Bryant in right and Javy Báez at short. Anthony Rizzo is at first, Willson Contreras is catching, Ian Happ is in center, Sergio Alcántara is at third, and Eric Sogard is at second.

Zach Davies has gone at least five innings in each of his last five starts, all in May, and he allowed just one earned run over four innings in another start last month. In all, he had a 1.72 ERA and had 15 strikeouts to 12 walks. Neither of those last two figures is necessarily good, but you’ll take it after Davies struggled with command in April. Perhaps the biggest factor in Davies’ success was allowing just one homer in those six games.

Going for the Giants is former Reds righty Anthony DeSclafani, who has found new life in the Bay Area. Some of that comes from upping the usage of his slider, sinker, and change to get more grounders than ever. While the 31-year-old isn’t really seeing significantly different results in other areas, keeping the ball on the ground has really helped him out.

DeSclafani’s fastball and sinker sit around 94 mph, nothing out of the ordinary, but he throws his breaking and offspeed pitches very hard from a relative standpoint. His change sits 88, actually a little slower than in the past, and his power slider is around 87. Even his curve has a little zip at 84 mph, though he throws it infrequently.

He likes to attack with first-pitch strikes to set up the secondaries, though that’s a bit of a misnomer because he actually throws his slider more than anything else. That has led to DeSclafani dominating righties to the tune of a .492 OPS, about 150 points lower than his career average. Lefties are at .739 with six of the seven homers he’s allowed, though they walk 50% less often than their right-handed counterparts.

The Cubs, however, boast a .966 aggregate OPS against their former division rival. Bryant has two dingers and a 1.043 OPS in 23 at-bats, Rizzo likewise has two dongs and a .794 mark in 30 ABs, and Pederson has three taters to boost his OPS to 1.780 in 11 at-bats. You have to feel pretty good about this matchup.

First pitch from Oracle Park is set for 8:45pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score, as always. Cord-cutters can check out a free preview of fuboTV if you want to see whether the streaming service with Marquee is worthwhile.

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