The Cubs look to complete the four-game sweep over the Brewers today (1:20pm CDT) behind Jake Arrieta. And for the first time, Willson Contreras will be behind the plate with Arrieta on the hill.
Joe Maddon posted his lineup for the finale of the four-game series with the Brewers. Willson Contreras is starting at catcher and hitting seventh. Matt Szczur is leading off in center and Jorge Soler is back in left field, hitting sixth behind Addison Russell.
Ben Zobrist is starting in right field in place of Jason Heyward.
Cubs batting order: Matt Szczur CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist RF, Addison Russell SS, Jorge Soler LF, Willson Contreras C, Javier Baez 2B, Jake Arrieta P
Zach Davies has fared better against right-handers this season that left-handers. The Brewers’ rookie right-hander has limited righties to a .634 OPS with 15 extra basehits this season (eight doubles, one triple, six home runs) and a .236/.282/.351 slash line. Lefties have hit .277/.328/.455 with a .783 OPS (10 doubles, three triples and eight home runs).
Maddon is going against the numbers with Soler and Szczur playing in place of Fowler and Heyward.
The Cubs have to make sure Willson Contreras and Jake Arrieta can get on the same page during the regular season. Contreras has made significant improvement behind the plate this season. And by all accounts, he has earned the trust of Kyle Hendricks, Jason Hammel and John Lackey.
Cubs’ pitchers have a 3.80 ERA with Contreras behind the plate.
Joe Maddon will begin Thursday’s game with a bench of Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Miguel Montero and David Ross.