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Chicago Cubs: The most effective lineup they have isn’t being used

jfrancis
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a one run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) hits a one run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

In the third spot…

This is the place tailor-made for one person only. That batter is Kris Bryant. With all the work on his swing and two solid batters ahead of him, Bryant can unleash his potential on opposing pitchers at a great rate.

The numbers between Bryant hitting second or third are similar. In 140 games batting second, he has 32 home runs, 30 doubles, 72 walks and 155 strikeouts. Before batting second, he was slotted third in 130 games. Here, he achieved 30 home runs, 25 doubles, 61 walks, and 163 strikeouts. The averages are not as close, going .297 and .265, respectively. However, remember that Bryant switched to second in the order after Dexter Fowler went on the disabled list last year. A good portion of his rookie season and part of 2016 were from the third spot.

Bryant excels in one area over other batters in the Chicago Cubs lineup. With runners on base, he hit .308. When they are in scoring position, he averages .292. It does not matter how many outs, when runners are on base, Bryant hits. With two capable batters ahead of his, hitting third means driving in runs and moving others over. That is what you want from your third-place batter.

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