Chicago Cubs Wild Card Game 1 Lineup: Loading on Left … Very Straight

In a few hours, the Chicago Cubs will host the Miami Marlins for the first game of the three best playoff series at Wrigley Field. Sandy Alcantara is on the mound for the Cubs in game one, and is picked by lineup manager David Ross for his first postseason game as manager.

Chicago Cubs lineup:

1. Ian Happ, cf.
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Chris Bryant, 3B
4. Kyle Schwarber, L.F.
5. Wilson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, R.F.
7. JV Badge, S.S.
8. Victor Caratini, DH
9. Jason Kipnis, 2B

As we discussed, Alcantara makes a significant / right split this season, so Ross was definitely right to load the lefties:

V. LHH: .268 / .366 / .493 (.369 wOBA)
V. RHH: .190 / .236 / .238 (.215 wOBA)

Beginning today’s game with Happ, Rizzo, Schwarber, Hayward, Caratini and Kipnis, the Marlins Wright will face six batters from their weakest side of the plate. Of course, as it turns out, those nine batsmen are probably the closest to the Cubs. Regular Nine beginnings, so it all works a little too basic.

Relatedly, Brett wrote this in relation to the current weather of Alcantara, the Left, and the Regille Field:

Sandy Alcantara, however, is a big-time groundball pitcher: He didn’t have enough innings to qualify, but if he did, his 49.1% groundball rate would have been 13th in baseball. Good news for the Cubs lineup full of leftists? His groundball rate against the Left is 27.5%. In fact, the leftists hit fly balls at a 45.1% clip with one stroke. Don’t tell the Cubs batsmen, so that they don’t get out of their rhythm, but man, today is a perfect day for Cubs lefty batsmen to hit a lot of homers.

Meanwhile, David Boat on the bench awaits his two-out, late-game, pinch-hit RBI, his chance to wait for Billy Hamilton to steal the bases, and Nico Horner to improve the defense. This is a good group and their playoff march starts today.

As always, we will have your full pre-gamin post close to game time (1:08 CT).

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