Chicago Cubs Lineup (6/25/24): Hoerner Leads Off, Bellinger 1B, Hendricks Starting

I’ve gone back and forth on this lineup previews all season and I have to admit it’s really difficult to find anything interesting these days. It doesn’t help that the Giants are going with yet another bullpen game, meaning there’s really no use in doing a deep dive on the starter. With that in mind, I’m sticking to the basics until — fingers crossed — the Cubs can start playing the kind of baseball that makes these posts worthwhile.

Kyle Hendricks looked great in his most recent start against the Giants and now he’s back to face them for the second time in less than a week. The Professor went 5.2 innings, his longest start of the season, and struck out eight with just one walk and one run on two hits. It was easily his best performance in a campaign that’s had many thinking he’d be forced into early retirement.

The lineup busted out for six runs, just barely enough to survive a late San Francisco push, and will probably need to do more of the same tonight. Nico Hoerner remains in the leadoff spot at second base, then it’s Michael Busch at first and Cody Bellinger in right. Seiya Suzuki is the DH, Ian Happ is in left, Christopher Morel is at third, and Dansby Swanson is at short. Pete Crow-Armstrong is in center and Miguel Amaya is behind the plate.

On the mound for the Giants is 24-year-old righty Randy Rodríguez, who is making his first start and 19th appearance of the year. He also appeared in 10 games at Triple-A, where he worked exclusively as a reliever. That’s effectively what he’s doing tonight as the opener, though Rodríguez has worked more than one inning in 10 of his MLB outings so far.

The Cubs are going to see a heavy mix of fastballs and sliders, with a 98 mph heater setting up an 85 mph breaking ball. Rodrìguez’s slider is a tight number that ends up down in the zone and just a little to the glove side of the middle, making it moderately effective for both whiffs and weak contact. His fastball tends to be upper-middle, but it often leaks into the heart of the zone and can be hammered.

First pitch is once again at 8:45pm CT on MLB Network (out-of-market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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