Chicago Cubs Lineup: Javy at Shortstop, Zobrist Leading Off, Contreras Batting Cleanup

The Cubs take on the Miami Marlins tonight coming off what is hopefully a get-right series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Eddie Butler will take the hill for the Cubs looking to for a little get-right himself. To say he’s been inconsistent since his recent call-up might be a slight understatement. In four games he’s earned two wins, one loss, and one no-decision. He’s allowed only one earned run, six hits and five walks over 11 innings pitched in his two wins. In contrast, he’s allowed eight earned runs, 10 hits, and eight walks over 7.1 innings pitched in his other two outings.

Butler will be going up against a Marlins team that has won seven of their last eight games. Giancarlo Stanton has been tearing the cover off the baseball lately, hitting .308/.371/.600 with eight home runs since May 1st. If there’s one thing Butler has been good at so far this year, it’s limiting damage via the longball. He’s given up only one home run in his four outings.

Ian Happ gets the day off after hitting two home runs in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals. That leaves room for Albert Almora Jr. to get some playing time in centerfield. It’s a rare start for Almora in a season that we thought would give us more of the young star. There’s no question that Almora needs more playing time, so it’s good to see him in there tonight.

Ben Zobrist will be leading things off for the Cubs and Willson Contreras is batting cleanup. It’s the first time this season that Contreras has batted fourth in the order and it sure feels like he’s due for a breakout game. Perhaps tonight’s the night.

Javy Baez is at shortstop for the struggling Addison Russell, while Kyle Schwarber stays at the bottom of the order. It’s hard to say what’s happening with Russell, who’s been somewhat lost at the plate this season and is hitting only .213/.296/.343 at this point. Considering he slashed .238/.321/.417 in 2016 it certainly seems like he’s taken a step backwards. Hopefully some rest gets him back on track.

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Here’s the full Cubs lineup for tonight’s game:

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