The Cubs and Cardinals square off Saturday afternoon (12:05pm CDT) in the middle game of the series. Jason Hammel faces rookie right-hander Alex Reyes. And Joe Maddon has Willson Contreras behind the plate and Jorge Soler in left field in his starting lineup.
Jorge Soler makes his first start in eight days. Soler had to leave the Sept. 16 game against the Brewers with tightness in his right side after just one at bat. Soler pinch hit Friday but did not play in the field. Willson Contreras started the same game and replaced Soler in left field when he was forced to leave. Today is Contreras’ first start in five days.
Maddon has Dexter Fowler in center and Jason Heyward in right. And he is starting the game with an infield of Rizzo, Zobrist, Russell and Bryant.
Cubs batting order: Dexter Fowler CF, Kris Bryant 3B, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Ben Zobrist 2B, Addison Russell SS, Jason Heyward RF, Jorge Soler LF, Willson Contreras C, Jason Hammel P
The Cubs have their hands full this afternoon with Alex Reyes on the hill for the Cardinals.
Teams haven’t done much hitting against Alex Reyes in the big leagues. Reyes has totally owned right-handed hitters in his 10 games, three starts. Reyes has held righties to a .141/.244/.211 slash line with a paltry .455 OPS, and lefties have not fared much better. Left-handers have hit only .204/.316/.245 with a .561 OPS. Reyes has given up five extra basehits, four doubles and a home run, in 35 innings.
Reyes has allowed a grand total of 20 hits while striking out 40 and issuing 18 walks.
In the hitter friendly PCL this season, left-handers batted .227/.344/.331 with a .675 OPS and right-handers had a .222/.305/.338 line with a .642 OPS.
Joe Maddon will begin the game with a bench of David Ross, Miguel Montero, Tim Federowicz, Matt Szczur, Chris Coghlan, Albert Almora Jr., Tommy La Stella, Munenori Kawasaki and Javier Baez.