The Cubs begin a four-game series with the Giants on Thursday night (7:05pm CDT). Mike Montgomery faces Jeff Samardzija in the opener. And Chris Coghlan is back from the disabled list and starting in left field.
Chris Coghlan returns from his rehab stint with Iowa as expected. Joe Maddon has Coghlan in left field and batting seventh tonight. Ben Zobrist returns to the starting lineup after a two-day breather. Maddon has a lot of lefties in the lineup against Samardzija.
Left-handers have hit .271/.320/.476 against Samardzija this season with a .796 OPS, 36 extra basehits (22 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs). Right-handers have managed a .230/.278/.386 line against Samardzija with a .665 OPS (11 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs).
David Ross is catching tonight, which points to two days in a row for Ross in the starting lineup with Jon Lester scheduled to pitch Friday afternoon.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Jason Heyward RF, Addison Russell SS, Chris Coghlan LF, David Ross C, Mike Montgomery P
Chris Coghlan was expected to start tonight based on his success against Jeff Samardzija. Coghlan is 3-for-9 in his career against his former teammate. Coghlan took Samardzija deep twice at The Cell last season.
The Cubs have not announced if any players have been called up yet today. RHP Joe Smith has been activated from the DL.
Based on the current roster, Joe Maddon will begin the game with Willson Contreras, Miguel Montero, Javier Baez, Matt Szczur, Jorge Soler and Tommy La Stella on his bench.