Cubs Lineup (5/24/24): The Opener vs St. Louis

CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs have their ace, Shota Imanaga, on the mound against a sub-.500 team, who’s starting a struggling veteran, Miles Mikolas, they’ve seen a dozen times. They also have a fully healthy lineup and have for a while. No excuses. It’s time to hit. Here’s a look at the Cubs lineup for Game 1 against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Mike Tauchman, LF
  2. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  3. Cody Bellinger, CF
  4. Chris Morel, DH
  5. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  6. Michael Busch, 1B
  7. Dansby Swanson, SS
  8. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
  9. Miguel Amaya, C

Lefties are hitting Mikolas slightly better than righties are this season, which tracks with his career, but batters of both types are hitting him just fine overall:

vLHH: .295/.339/.514 (.367 wOBA)
vRHH: .294/.325/.495 (.357 wOBA)

And that’s perhaps why the Cubs were happy enough to give Ian Happ the night off effectively in favor of Patrick Wisdom. Wisdom is the 3B in the Cubs lineup tonight, pushing Morel to DH, which means one of Tauchman/Happ were going to sit. And seeing as Tauchman is the de facto leadoff man versus righties, that was that!

Happ does have a pretty solid history against Mikolas, hitting .294 with a .333 OBP over 34 at-bats, but he’s also struck out 10 times and has low SLG against him.

Nico Hoerner is hitting .391 off Mikolas with an .826 OPS. Swanson (.895 OPS) has hit him well too. For what it’s worth (not much, as these are all relatively tiny samples), Wisdom is 3-11 with a homer, two walks, and 6Ks vs Mikolas in his career. The Cubs are certainly hoping he can just run into one tonight.

Everybody else is at their usual spots, with Miguel Amaya behind the plate.

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:

  1. Masyn Winn, SS
  2. Lars Nootbaar, RF
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  5. Ivan Herrera, C
  6. Alec Burleson, DH
  7. Brendan Donovan, LF
  8. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  9. Michael Siani, CF

Pitching Matchup:

Chicago Cubs: Shota Imanaga, LHP

Shota Imanaga is coming off one of the most dominant starts of his big league career, in which he blanked the Pirates over 7.0 IP with just four hits and one walk against seven strikeouts. And the Cardinals (77 wRC+ vs LHP) are a much weaker team than Pittsburgh (106 wRC+) against left-handed pitching, especially without Willson Contreras, who was hitting a whopping .333/.448/.708 against lefties this season, but is out with his fractured forearm.

St. Louis Cardinals: Miles Mikolas, RHP

Miles Mikolas has had five solid starts this season out of ten tries, with the other five being quite horrible. All together, that adds up to a 5.77 ERA with a 4.61 FIP that’s far better, but still not anywhere close to good. Mikolas may not be walking anyone (4.8 BB%), but opposing batters are hitting .290 off him with the worst HR/9 rate of his career. It’s time to hit.

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