Chicago Cubs Lineup (6/14/24): Who Cares Where Anyone’s Batting, Wicks on Mound

The Cubs are playing hot hot, wet trash right now and they still have the audacity to charge over $100 for bleacher tickets. It’ll cost you $109 just for the face value of a bleacher seat to see them play the Mets next Friday. That’s the most expensive shitshow since Waterworld, and folks who purchased tickets early are going to take as much of a bath as Kevin Costner if they try to re-sell them.

This team’s play of late doesn’t inspire me to provide much of a writeup and you probably don’t want to read one anyway, so let’s stick to basics. Jordan Wicks is on the bump for his first start since April 23 due to an IL stint for a forearm strain. He worked in relief last week and is back in the rotation because Ben Brown is on the shelf with a neck strain. Fun times.

Wicks looked pretty good over 3.1 innings against the Reds, giving up one run on three hits and striking out two with a walk. He may have to be even better this afternoon because allowing anything more than three runs would probably put this offense too far behind. Maybe they can just have everyone bunt and steal a ton of bases like it’s 10U travel ball.

Mike Tauchman leads off in center, Christopher Morel is at third, Cody Bellinger is the DH, and Seiya Suzuki cleans up in right. Ian Happ is in left, Nico Hoerner is at second, Michael Busch is at first, and Dansby Swanson is the shortstop. Miguel Amaya bats last and handles the catching duties.

They’re up against Kyle Gibson, one of several aging starters the Cardinals acquired in the offseason. He’s actually having a pretty good season despite a lack of outstanding stuff leading to more barrels and hard contact than usual. All of his expected stats indicate his 3.76 ERA is a bit of a mirage and his 9.4% walk rate is higher than usual, so perhaps the Cubs can help with a little statistical correction.

Gibson has a varied repertoire consisting of a sinker (27%), sweeper (22%), cutter (21%), four-seam (13%), changeup (9%), and curveball (8%). The sinker has been his best pitch in terms of overall value and the change is the best on a per-pitch basis, but he hasn’t been consistent enough to really leverage them. What’s really odd is that Gibson’s swinging- (11.1%) and called-strike (17.8%) are both higher than league average (10.9%, 16.6%), yet his 21% strikeout rate is more than one point below league average.

That tells us he’s had trouble putting hitters away, though we’ve seen how this Cubs team can provide a remedy for such woes. Gibson has been much better on the road this season, holding opponents to a .188 average and limiting right-handed batters to a .256 wOBA. Something tells me he’s either going to do the same to the Cubs or they’re going to blow him out of the water early, nothing in between.

First pitch from Wrigley is at 1:20pm CT on Marquee and 670 The Score.

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