Chicago Cubs Lineup: Javy Leads Off, Hendricks on Mound as Cubs Look to Sweep

The Cubs have won five straight series and look to sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon. After Jon Lester threw seven shutout innings to lead the Cubs to victory Saturday, Kyle Hendricks gets the ball with eyes on a sweep.

Hendricks had arguably his worst start of the season in his last outing against the Phillies. Hendricks took the loss in a game that saw him allow five runs on five hits in five innings of work. Hendricks enters Sunday’s game with a 4-5 record and a 3.59 ERA/4.46 FIP. Many of Hendricks numbers look good/consistent with past performances, but he’s been bitten by the home run bug early in 2018 as his 1.49 HR/9 would be the highest mark of his career and over twice what it was in 2016. Hendricks has held hitters to a .227 batting average in 2018 and has posted a strong 2.11 BB/9. Hendricks has lost twice against the Pirates so far this season, but he only allowed two runs in each of those starts.

The Cubs offense will face a familiar Sunday in Ivan Nova, who will be facing the Cubs for the sixth time in his career. Nova has had a rough go of it so far, entering Sunday with a 2-5 record and a 4.96 ERA/4.27 FIP. Nova got the win against the Cubs when they faced each other back in on April 10, allowing three runs in seven innings while striking out six with two of the runs coming on Javy Baez home runs. In his last outing, Nova suffered the loss to the Reds giving up four runs in 5.1 innings pitched. Lefties have killed Nova this season to the tune of a .339 batting average and .385 wOBA.

Naturally, Javy is in the leadoff spot Sunday against Nova. He’s followed by Jason Heyward and Bryzzo, with Ian Happ in the five-hole as Willson Contreras gets a day off. Kyle Schwarber hits sixth and plays left field, with Addison Russell and Chris Gimenez rounding out the order in front of Kyle Hendricks.

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