Chicago Cubs Lineup (6/7/23): Amaya Catching, Mastrobuoni at 3B, Taillon on Mound

Jameson Taillon had his best game as a Cub last week against the Padres in a nice win that saw him rack up a game score of 69 over 5.2 innings of one-run ball. He allowed only three hits and struck out three with no walks before departing to let the bullpen seal his first win. The Cubs will need more of the same tonight as they look to even the series with the Angels.

The top four in tonight’s lineup are unchanged: Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ, and Seiya Suzuki. Then it’s Mike Tauchman in center, Trey Mancini at DH, Miguel Amaya behind the plate, and Matt Mervis at first. Miles Mastrobuoni rounds things out at third.

On the mound for the Angels is 26-year-old righty Jaime Barria, who is already in his sixth MLB season. After coming up as a starter in 2018, he’s worked mainly as a swingman and has been almost exclusively a reliever for the past two seasons. Given all the problems with the rotation this season, however, he’s been pushed back into a starting role lately.

Not typically a big strikeout guy, Barria is currently working on a career-best 25% K-rate while also getting ground balls at a higher clip than ever. That success comes from his slider, which has been his best pitch by far this season and throughout his career. He’ll throw it over 50% of the time and loves to work up in the zone with it.

He can really locate it all over, but it’s not one of those sweepers he tries to throw low and away to righties or on the back feet of lefties. The pitch has been devastating to right-handed hitters so far, limiting them to a .145 average and .201 wOBA. Lefties are better across the board except for slugging, where they have a two-point disadvantage. Barria is among the best in the league at limiting hard contact and he’s only given up two earned runs in his last 30.1 innings.

Opponents have scored nine unearned runs in that time, though, so this may come down to the Cubs having to manufacture runs. First pitch is at 8:38pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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