The Chicago Cubs lineup has been as fluid as it has been in years. Part of the reason for this is because manager Joe Maddon loves to play with the batting order based on the matchup. The real culprit behind all the moving around is that the team just does not have an established leadoff hitter.

After the Cubs had players like Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras took a turn, it’s been Jason Heyward for the last couple of days. The right fielder is back in the leadoff spot after going 1 for 5 on Friday night. While that doesn’t seem like it’s great production from the Top Spot in the order, his tools might fit better there than anyone else in the lineup.

Heyward has been hot for the Chicago Cubs

While the right fielder has not had the kind of power teams normally look for when it comes to a corner outfielder, he’s had a very good 2017 season. After a terrible 2016 season, the outfielder notoriously worked hard in order to return to his former form.

It appears that work has paid off, considering he’s got his average up to .269 on the season. His power hasn’t returned at a level that the Chicago Cubs had hoped but he has hit seven homers and has seen an uptick in OBP and slugging. He’s been even better over the last month.

In the last 28 days, Heyward has hit .318 with an on-base percentage of .375 and slugged .500. That not only indicates that the right fielder is back to the player the Cubs thought they acquired, but also one that’s a bit better than they had hoped.

It makes sense such a player would be batting leadoff, especially since he’s one of the only stolen base threats in Chicago.

The rest of the lineup for the Chicago Cubs

Heyward is far from the only member of the Chicago Cubs who has been red hot. The team in general is 7-1 since the all-star break. That run has allowed the team to go from 5.5 games out of first place in the NL Central to just a game out.

Had the bullpen not had a blowup on Friday night, they would be 8-0 and in a tie for first. Batting behind the right fielder is Kris Bryant, totally back from a finger injury earlier this week. Anthony Rizzo is back in the third spot in the lineup and Willson Contreras is batting cleanup. At least at the moment, it appears 4th in the batting order is Contreras’ spot.

Left fielder Kyle Schwarber bats fifth, Ian Happ is playing center and batting sixth, Addison Russell is seventh and Javier Baez is batting 8th. The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will kick off their rubber match at 7:05 central on Sunday night.

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