Chicago Cubs Lineups (3/17/23): Split Squads on St. Patrick’s Day

The Cubs are hoping to get lucky with two games today as they host the Dodgers at Sloan Park while also sending a group to face the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. There won’t be any rainbows in the Phoenix area now that the rain from earlier in the week has passed through, but maybe at least one of the split squads can find a pot of gold. Just don’t let Cody Bellinger hear that because he might misinterpret it.

Hayden Wesneski will take the bump for the home half as he looks to further strengthen his grasp on a spot in the rotation. He should be able to work into the 5th inning or around 70 pitches as he ramps up to a full workload, so this will offer our best look yet at his full arsenal. While you’d love to see his utter dominance continue, it wouldn’t be bad to see the young righty have to work out of a jam.

It’ll be more or less a regular season lineup behind Wesneski in this one, with Nico Hoerner leading off at second and Ian Happ batting second in left. Dansby Swanson has just one single to his name so far this spring and will attempt to elevate his .045 average as he bats third. Trey Mancini cleans up in right, Bellinger is in center, Eric Hosmer is the DH, and Nick Madrigal is at third. Matt Mervis has returned from the WBC and will play first with Tucker Barnhart rounding out the lineup at catcher.

Nick Neidert will be on the mound to face the White Sox for his first start of the spring after two previous relief appearances. The Cubs figure to throw a bunch of dudes out there to pick up an inning or two now that the regular starters are going deeper. The Sox will counter with Mike Clevinger, which could lead to some hate-watching by fans on both sides.

This feels like what Joe Maddon would have called a “Meatloaf lineup,” one in which you sort of shuffle guys around on the last day of a three-game set in which you’ve already won two. Christopher Morel is in center, Yan Gomes is the catcher, Patrick Wisdom is in right, and Edwin Ríos is at third. Mike Tauchman handles left field, Zach McKinstry is at second, David Bote is at first, and Jake Slaughter is the DH. Sergio Alcántara rounds things out as the shortstop.

Both games start at 3:05pm CT, with the home contest on Marquee and the away tilt on NBC Sports Chicago.

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