Chicago Cubs Lineup (8/4/22, Game 1): Contreras Catching, Happ DH, Stroman Starting

The Cubs looked listless Tuesday night, almost like they were emotionally drained in the wake of the trade deadline. See, baseball players are just like us. The rain may have been a good thing because it gave the team an extra day to decompress and reset for the rest of the season.

Rafael Ortega leads off in center, followed by Willson Contreras behind the plate and Ian Happ at DH. Seiya Suzuki is in right, Nico Hoerner is at short, Patrick Wisdom plays first, and Zach McKinstry gets some run at the hot corner. Nelson Velázquez is in left and David Bote handles second base.

Marcus Stroman has been incredible since returning from the IL and he should be fully stretche out at this point. He’s allowed only two earned runs over 20.1 innings in four starts, even managing to shut the Giants out for six frames despite allowing eight hits. The strikeout numbers have been low, but Stroman is getting the right kind of contact and limiting damage.

The Redbirds will start a man who questioned his choice to take the COVID vaccine after initially achieving infamy for eating a live lizard. Miles Mikolas is having one of the better seasons of his career with a 2.86 ERA that comes from limiting walks and keeping the ball in the yard. He’s not a big strikeout guy and never has been, so it’s all about getting weak contact.

This doesn’t feel like a great matchup to me, probably because these teams are on decidedly different trajectories, but here’s hoping the Cubs can play spoiler. First pitch is at 12:15pm CT on Marquee Sports Network and 670 The Score.

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