Joe Maddon posted his starting lineup for Friday’s opener of the three-game series with the Pirates. Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell return to the starting nine.
Maddon is using a right-handed heavy lineup against the lefty Francisco Liriano on the hill today for Clint Hurdle. David Ross is catching Jason Hammel and Jorge Soler gets a third straight start in left field.
Cubs batting order for Friday versus Pirates: Dexter Fowler CF, Jason Heyward RF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Jorge Soler LF, Addison Russell SS, David Ross C, Jason Hammel P
Only two lefties in the starting lineup for the Cubs, which is the right move when looking at the numbers.
Francisco Liriano does not have the amount of success against right-handed bats compared to left-handers. Righties have put together a .253/.350/.414 slash line with a .765 OPS while lefties have hit only .138/.265/.138/.403 against him this season.
Anthony Rizzo (4-for-23 with two walks, eight strikeouts) and Jason Heyward (3-for-13 with three walks, six strikeouts) haven’t had much success against Liriano, just seven combined singles in 36 at bats.
Javier Baez, Ryan Kalish, Tommy La Stella and Tim Federowicz will start the game on the bench, unless the Cubs make a roster move or two.