Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/14/21): Ortega Leads Off, Happ Cleans Up, Davies Pitching

Rafael Ortega leads off in center, followed by Frank Schwindel at first, Patrick Wisdom at third, and Ian Happ in left. David Bote is at second, Austin Romine is the catcher, Greg Deichmann plays right, and Sergio Alcántara bats eighth as the shortstop.

Zach Davies has allowed seven earned runs in each of his last two starts and Cubs starters have allowed at least six earned runs in three straight games, so something has to give in this one. Or maybe we’ll just see the implosion continue. This team has a ways to dig before hitting rock bottom and Davies may just have a shovel in hand.

Opposing the Cubs is 27-year-old righty Zach Thompson, who is making just his 11th big league start after debuting in June. He has pitched against the Cubs before, giving up just one unearned run on no hits and three walks while striking out seven in four innings of work. That was the third start of his career and wasn’t even the best out of his first four, but he’s fallen off a bit since.

Thompson has stuck out just two batters in three of his last five outings and has walked at least two in four of those games, so control and command have not been his friends. He leans heavily on a four-seam/cutter combo, throwing each about 31% of the time, but his changeup is actually his best pitch despite throwing it only about 13% of the time. The curve (19%) and sinker (6%) will factor as well.

Despite not having what looks like lights-out stuff, Thompson has dominated right-handed hitters this season. The 93 mph fastball sets up secondaries that have limited righties to a .177 average with just a .237 wOBA so far. Left-handed batters are about 60 points higher in each category and the home/road splits are pretty even across the board.

As has been the case with so many other pitchers the Cubs have seen previously, it’s hard to make a good comparison to earlier games. This lineup is almost completely different from June and Thompson isn’t performing quite as well has he had been. However, we’ve seen how the Cubs can make just about anyone look like Cy Young.

First pitch from Miami is set for 5:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.

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