Ben Zobrist leading off, Kris Bryant at third base, Willson Contreras is catching and Javier Baez at second base in starting lineup in opener with Rangers
The Cubs begin the ‘second half’ of the season with a weekend series against the Rangers at Wrigley Field. Joe Maddon posted his batting order and is running out a right-handed heavy lineup against Rangers’ southpaw Martin Perez.
Ben Zobrist is leading off and playing left field. Javier Baez is at second base with the lefty on the hill. Kris Bryant is batting second and playing third base and Albert Almora Jr. is batting eighth. Willson Contreras is catching of Kyle Hendricks.
Cubs batting order: Ben Zobrist LF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Willson Contreras C, Addison Russell SS, Jayson Heyward RF, Javier Baez 2B, Albert Almora Jr. CF, Kyle Hendricks P
With the way right-handers have hit Martin Perez this season, Maddon is putting his team in the best position to succeed offensively.
Right-handers have 26 extra basehits (16 doubles, 10 home runs) and a .789 OPS against Perez this season while hitting .291/.355/.433. Perez has held left-handers in check this season. Lefties have only five extra basehits (four doubles, one home run) with a .539 OPS and a .167/.283/.256 slash line.
Joe Maddon will begin the game with Matt Szczur, Tommy La Stella, Miguel Montero and David Ross on his bench. Ross is expected to come off the DL before first pitch.