The Cubs kick off a four-game series Thursday night (7:05pm CDT) at Wrigley against the Cardinals. And Joe Maddon is using a balanced starting lineup against right-hander Carlos Martinez.
Chris Coghlan returns to the lineup and is playing left field after more than a week on the bench (Aug. 3). Coghlan’s last start came on Aug. 2. Kris Bryant is at third base. Maddon is starting an infield of Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell and Bryant.
David Ross is behind the plate with Jon Lester on the hill.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Chris Coghlan LF, David Ross C, Jon Lester P
With Carlos Martinez’s lefty-righty splits, Joe Maddon was expected to run out a left-handed heavy lineup. Martinez has dominated right-handers this season, that is the reason Javier Baez and Jorge Soler are not starting.
Right-handers only have a .499 OPS against Martinez this season while hitting .195/.259/.240 with six extra basehits (four doubles and two home runs).
Left-handers have hit .259/.348/.399 against Martinez with a .747 OPS and 19 extra basehits (10 doubles nine home runs).
Maddon is starting the game with a bench of Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Willson Contreras, Miguel Montero and Jorge Soler.