wrigley stands crowd

The Chicago Cubs have won four games in a row against very, very good teams in the Pirates and Nationals, but today’s afternoon matchup looks a little bit tougher.

The Cubs will face the 2013 Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, although at least they get the 2016 version of him. So far this season, Scherzer has been good, but not necessarily his dominant self. Over his first six starts (38 IP), Scherzer has a 3.55 ERA (3.76 FIP) and has already allowed five home runs.

And most of the damage, it seems, has come off of lefties. In 2016, Scherzer has very pronounced splits against lefties and righties, with lefties crushing him (.368 wOBA) and righties being expectedly frustrated (.224 wOBA). Whether or not you’re concerned about Jorge Soler’s playing time in general, there is no doubt that sitting him today against Scherzer, in favor of Tommy La Stella, makes all the sense in the world.



Opposing Scherzer will be John Lackey, who has had up and down starts, to begin the 2016 season. At some moments, he’s flashed brilliance, missing bats like a 28 year old ace. And then, in other moments, he’s been far too hittable and up in the zone. Hopefully, we get the former today, and the Cubs can steal one with the opponents ace on the mound like they did in Pittsburgh against Gerrit Cole.

For the most part, the Nationals are keeping their lineup the same, with the most notable exception being Ben Revere in center field and leading off instead of Michael Taylor.

Let’s go Cubs, I want to have a nice Friday today and it all depends on this game!

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (21-6) at Washington Nationals (19-9), 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?

The Series Preview lives here. The Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 4.32 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 3.40 xFIP; 3.22 K/BB

versus

Pirates: Max Scherzer: (R): 3.55 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.64 xFIP; 3.25 K/BB



Washington Nationals Lineup

1. Ben Revere, CF

2. Anthony Rendon, 3B

3. Bryce Harper, RF

4. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B

5. Daniel Murphy, 2B

6. Jason Werth, LF

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Danny Espinosa, SS

9. Max Scherzer, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, LF

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Tommy La Stella, 3B

7. Javier Baez, SS

8. David Ross, C

9. John Lackey, P




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