Chicago Cubs Lineup (7/27/21): Ortega Leads Off, Bryant at 3B, Alzolay Starting

Update: Javy Báez has been scratched due to his sore heel, so Nico Hoerner will take over at short and bat seventh.

Rafael Ortega is leading off in center, followed by Kris Bryant at third, Anthony Rizzo at first, and Javy Báez at short. Willson Contreras is catching, Jason Heyward is in right, David Bote is at second, and Ian Happ is in left.

Adbert Alzolay has been bitten by the home run bug this season, but he’s also been afflicted by a lack of run support. He continues to hone his repertoire and has shown flashes of brilliance over the course of the season, it just feels at times as though the baseball gods have it out for him.

Starting for the Reds is Vladimir Gutiérrez, a 25-year-old righty whose spider throat tattoo is much scarier than his pitching. Maybe the Cubs just have arachnophobia, since they managed just one run on two hits against the Cuban when they met during his first start of the season back on May 28. That run was all the Cubs needed, though, as a David Bote homer powered them to a 1-0 win.

Gutierrez has a 93 mph fastball that he’ll throw about 47% of the time despite poor results on the season. His breaking balls are decent and account for another 44% in total, then he’s got a meh changeup. The righty has struck out just 37 batters over 54.1 innings and he’s also walked 25, so neither his location or raw stuff has been great.

His 4.97 ERA is actually well below his FIP and xFIP, which means he’s actually been the beneficiary of good luck to this point. There’s no reason for the Cubs to be stifled by him again tonight, but we’ve all seen this team enough to know that doesn’t matter.

First pitch from Wrigley is set for 7:05pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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