Joc Pederson is leading off in left as the Cubs return home, followed by Kris Bryant in right, Javier Báez at short, and Anthony Rizzo at first. Willson Contreras is behind the plate, Patrick Wisdom is at third base, Ian Happ is in center, and Sergio Alcántara is at second
Zach Davies has been a very different pitcher over his last nine starts from the one we saw in five April starts over which he posted a 9.47 ERA with at least two earned runs allowed in each. He’s pitched to a 1.86 ERA since and has only allowed more than one earned run twice while shutting his opponents out on four occasions. Or perhaps you sticklers prefer to hear that he held them scoreless four times.
Two of those starts still saw Davies fail to complete the 5th inning, though, and the Cubs really need him to provide them with more length as they continue to navigate injuries to the rotation.
On the mound for Miami is rookie righty Cody Poteet, who is making the sixth start of his career. Poteet sits around 94 mph with the fastball and he’s located it well so far, using it to set up a change that has fooled quite a few hitters. His breaking stuff isn’t nearly as effective, which would explain why his splits are so incredibly lopsided.
The change is a tremendous weapon against lefties, limiting them to a .120 average, .390 OPS, and 175 wOBA in the early going. Righties are hitting .270 with an .871 OPS and .374 wOBA because Poteet really doesn’t have a put-away pitch for them. After three really strong starts, recent results are showing that the league might be figuring him out.
Perhaps the Cubs can prove that point after facing a quartet of Mets starters who shut them down pretty thoroughly. This is a rare Friday night game at Wrigley, so first pitch is at 7:05pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score, with MLB Network carrying it for you out-of-marketers.
Friday night in Wrigleyville.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 18, 2021