Chicago Cubs Lineup: Schwarbryzzo at Top, Almora in Center, Arrieta Dealing, No Zo

The Cubs look to avoid starting the season 0-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals and they’ll be doing it with a slightly different lineup in place. While Sunday’s order wasn’t exactly crazy, it was a bit unorthodox based on everything we thought we knew going into the season.

Tonight we get our first chance to see Albert Almora Jr. playing centerfield next to Jason Heyward in right field. By the way, did you notice the changes that Almora made to his swing this offseason? It led him to a .636 slugging percentage during spring ball that has me daring to dream about the prospect of another power bat in the Cubs lineup. Almora will be batting in the nine hole tonight.

With righty Adam Wainwright on the mound for the Cardinals, I thought we’d be seeing Ben Zobrist at second due mainly to his switch-hitting ability. Nope, Javy is just too exciting and has too much upside to hold back. That, combined with the need to get Almora in there, has Maddon going with righties against a righty.

Jake Arrieta will be pitching for the Cubs tonight and I’m hoping for a strong outing from him to get his (potentially) final season with the Cubs off to a stellar start.

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