Happy Memorial Day
The Cubs open a four-game series with the Dodgers on Memorial Day (4:05pm CDT). And Joe Maddon has a different look at the top of the lineup.
Ben Zobrist is hitting leadoff for the Cubs on Monday and playing right field. Dexter Fowler is getting the day off against lefty Alex Wood. Jason Heyward is in center field, batting second behind Zobrist.
Update 2:07pm CDT: Dexter Fowler is dealing with a sore right heel. It is not just a day off for Fowler. Joe Maddon told the beat writers it is not a serious injury. Fowler is available to pinch-hit.
The numbers suggested Maddon might begin Monday’s game with a balanced lineup. Right-handers are hitting .227/.276/.333 with a .609 OPS against Alex Wood. Left-handers, in 54 plate appearances, have managed a .304/.407/.457 slash line with a .864 OPS.
Joe Maddon is running out a right-handed heavy lineup behind Jason Hammel against the Dodgers’ southpaw.
Cubs batting order: Ben Zobrist RF, Jason Heyward CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Jorge Soler LF, Addison Russell SS, Javier Baez 2B, David Ross C, Jason Hammel P
Maddon is starting Baez at second base this afternoon and Ross behind the plate. Ross will make at least two starts this series with Jon Lester scheduled to get the ball for game three on Wednesday night.
Joe Maddon’s bench for the opener will be Dexter Fowler, Tommy La Stella, Miguel Montero, Tim Federowicz and Matt Szczur.
Ben Zobrist is riding a 15-game hitting streak. Zobrist is batting .366/.458/.585 in 25 games (49 plate appearances) against left-handed pitchers this season with three doubles, two home runs and a 1.044 OPS. Zobrist has a .421/.496/.684 line in his last 26 games with seven doubles, six home runs and a 1.180 OPS.