Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/22/20): Bryant Out Again, Happ Leads Off, Kipnis at 2B, Hendricks Pitching
The Cubs got waxed last night by a White Sox team that has consistently killed lefties, so they’ll try to get things going tonight behind Kyle Hendricks. Kris Bryant is still dealing with a bad left wrist, which means Ian Happ is back in the leadoff spot and playing center. Anthony Rizzo is at first, Javy Báez is at short, Kyle Schwarber plays left, and Willson Contreras handles the catching duties.
Jason Heyward is in right, Victor Caratini is the DH, Jason Kipnis is at second, and David Bote handles the hot corner. That trio has been more productive lately than the guys at the heart of the order, particularly Javy, which is both good and bad. You’ll take unexpected big contributions all day, but the stars need to start shining soon.
Some of those struggling hitters may get a chance to break free as they face Reynaldo López tonight. The 26-year-old righty has never really been consistent and he hasn’t pitched since lasting just two-thirds of an inning back on July 26. He gave up four earned runs on three hits in that one, striking out no batters and walking two.
López’s velocity was way down, though it’s hard to take much from such a brief outing. His fastball usually sits mid-90’s and makes up about 60% of his pitches, with a slider and change accounting for most of the rest of his offerings. He’s got very even splits over the course of his career, but he really had a hard time with his control against lefties last season. To wit, he walked 45 of the 405 lefties he faced versus just 20 of the 404 righties.
I haven’t been much for predictions this year, but I’m calling a big game for Javy in this one. He’s due in a big way and he’s going to tag López at least once, if the Sox starter lasts long enough to see him twice.
First pitch is at 7:15pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.
Here is tonight's #Cubs lineup behind Kyle Hendricks. pic.twitter.com/5itRXYTydc
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 22, 2020