wrigley stands crowdThe Cubs are looking to pull of a rare four-game series sweep, and they’re looking to do it in an even rarer situation: when facing a really, really good team.

That team, of course, is the Nationals, who’ll send Tanner Roark to the mound. Roark has been excellent this year in the rotation after a disappointing 2015 season that saw him bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation (which, in turn, came after a 2014 season in which he really broke out as a starter (verdict? keep the guy in the rotation, Nationals)). Should the Cubs’ bats struggle at times today, don’t be the person who’s all, “Ugh, I can’t believe the Cubs are getting dominated by this nobody.” Roark’s quite good at times.

Still, he’ll occasionally battle wildness, and doesn’t have overwhelming stuff all the time. The Cubs bats can get to him over the course of several times through the order.

Of course, the game won’t be entirely in Roark’s hands, because his offense will have to do something no team has done in literally months: figure out Jake Arrieta. At some point, our enter sense of baseball logic tells us Arrieta will have a clunker … but he just keeps not having one. And heck, a “clunker” for Arrieta is what, three or four runs given up in six or seven innings? Even that very much gives this team a chance to win. And when Arrieta doesn’t throw a clunker? Well, that’s all she wrote.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (23-6) at Washington Nationals (19-11), 1:20 CT on WGN-9, 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.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 0.84 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 3.06 xFIP; 3.08 K/BB

versus

Nationals: Tanner Roark: (R): 2.35 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 3.65 xFIP; 2.27 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. Tanner Roark, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Kris Bryant, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B

6. Jorge Soler, LF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. Tim Federowicz, C

9. Jake Arrieta, P




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