Postseason baseball has officially returned to Wrigley Field.
The wind is blowing out to center field at "The Friendly Confines" Monday evening as the Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. That, of course, means it could be a good day to be a hitter.
That will obviously be a difficult task for the Cardinals, who go up against the hottest pitcher on the planet in Jake Arrieta. The Cubs, meanwhile, will try to follow the same gameplan they've adhered to as the winningest team in baseball since late July: Get on the board first.
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"I think normally, if you can score first, that does permit your group to relax a click," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Now, the other day, we didn't in St. Louis and we won the game regardless. But you're always striving to get the first run and in a situation like with Jake pitching, if you get one or one-plus, obviously that makes the game a little bit more interesting on our side of things.
"The ability to score first always impacts the game normally in a positive way. Your winning percentage definitely goes up. It's just a better way to play the game from ahead as opposed to from behind."
Here is the way Maddon will line up behind Arrieta:
1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Jorge Soler - RF
3. Kris Bryant - 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
5. Starlin Castro - 2B
6. Kyle Schwarber - LF
7. Addison Russell - SS
8. Miguel Montero - C
9. Jake Arrieta - P
Here is Mike Matheny's lineup for the Cardinals behind starter Michael Wacha:
1. Matt Carpenter - 3B
2. Stephen Piscotty - 1B
3. Matt Holliday - LF
4. Jason Heyward - RF
5. Jhonny Peralta - SS
6. Tommy Pham - CF
7. Yadier Molina - C
8. Kolten Wong - 2B
9. Michael Wacha - P
Stay tuned to Comcast SportsNet Chicago for Cubs Pre- and Postgame Live with David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth.