Look, ma, same lineup!
For those of you keeping score at home, this is going to be the 17th time in 80 games that the Braves deploy this squad this way. Not much more to say, really — none of these guys have ever faced Adbert Alzolay at the major league level before, given that this is only his second big league outing.
The comparison with the Braves’ April 4 lineup, when Max Fried outdueled Yu Darvish, is perhaps amusing. In that lineup, Dansby Swanson hit eighth and Ender Inciarte hit leadoff. The non-differences? Freddie Freeman third, Nick Markakis fifth, and Brian McCann seventh.
The Cubs, meanwhile, run out a somewhat different arrangement than what they did last night, with no Jason Heyward or Carlos Gonzalez, and Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell appearing in their stead (with Kris Bryant shifting to right field). This will be the third time the Cubs use this particular defensive arrangement this season (June 2 and June 13 were the others); they’ve never arranged these hitters in this manner, however. This will be the 25th time in 79 games that the Cubs bat the pitcher eighth. The Cubs actually haven’t stuck with any one lineup for too long — their most common arrangement has only been used four times, and even that one has only been used in April.
All of the Cubs in tonight’s starting lineup sans Russell have faced Fried at least once, though incredibly, none have recorded a hit against him (albeit in just 21 combined at-bats). The only member of the Cubs’ active roster to have notched a hit off Fried has been Carlos Gonzalez, who is sitting due presumably to the lefty-lefty matchup. When Fried one-hit them for six innings earlier this season, his lone safety allowed was to Mark Zagunis, who was optioned to Triple-A in late May.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 pm EDT.