I know you know this, but I feel it’s worth repeating: Splitting this four-game series in Washington would actually be a pretty great outcome, and the Cubs have a good chance at doing just that this afternoon.
Remember, it’s nearly impossible to sweep four-game sets, especially on the road, and this is a very good Nationals team playing an underperforming and banged-up Cubs team. Two out four, for the Nats, would probably be quite disappointing.
And like I said, the Cubs do seem to have the advantage today, with the veteran Jon Lester taking on young righty Joe Ross. Lester’s last start was a 7.0 inning, three-earned run effort against the Marlins that came at the end of a solid three-game stretch:
Last 3 Games (20.0 IP): 2.70 ERA, 3.28 xFIP; 27.3 K%, 3.9 BB%
Hopefully, he keeps something like that up tonight against a really tough Nationals lineup. For what it’s worth, Bryce Harper has been far more human against lefties (119 wRC+) than righties (169 wRC+) this season.
Come on, Cubs, squeak out the win today. It’s been a rough effing week to be a Cubs fan.
Chicago Cubs (39-39) at Washington Nationals (47-31) – 3:05 CT on CSN-C, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Jon Lester (L): 3.83 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 3.69 xFIP; 3.23 K/BB
Nationals: Joe Ross (R): 5.40 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 4.12 xFIP; 4.33 K/BB
- Trea Turner, SS
- Ryan Raburn, LF
- Bryce Harper, RF
- Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
- Daniel Murphy, 2B
- Anthony Rendon, 3B
- Matt Wieters, C
- Michael A. Taylor, CF
- Joe Ross, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Jon Jay, LF
- Ian Happ, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B
- Albert Almora Jr., CF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jon Lester, P