The Cubs and Mariners square off in the middle game of the series on Saturday afternoon. And Joe Maddon’s lineup behind Jake Arrieta is rather interesting.
Anthony Rizzo is not starting with the lefty Wade Miley on the mound. Jason Heyward is in right field and Miguel Montero is catching Arrieta. As expected, Dexter Fowler is leading off and playing center field.
Willson Contreras is at first base this afternoon for Rizzo. And Javier Baez is batting cleanup with Rizzo starting the game on the bench.
Cubs batting lineup: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Ben Zobrist LF, Javier Baez 2B, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Willson Contreras 1B, Miguel Montero C, Jake Arrieta P
Giving Rizzo a day off with Miley on the hill makes sense. Right-handers have had a lot of success against the veteran southpaw this year.
This season, right-handers have a .848 against Miley this season and have hit .296/.354/.494 with 32 extra basehits (16 doubles, a triple, 15 home runs). Left-handers are still producing but only to a .716 OPS and nine extra basehits (six doubles, three home runs) while hitting .250/.296/.420.
Javier Baez is starting his sixth straight game, fourth at second base. And Baez is batting .395/.409/.581 with two doubles and two home runs for a .990 OPS in 14 games out of the break.
Joe Maddon will begin Saturday’s game with David Ross, Matt Szczur, Chris Coghlan and Anthony Rizzo on his bench.