The Cubs lost their first series of the second half last night, but they have to move on, because they have another tough challenge today.
The Nationals are in town and here’s the Cubs lineup for Game 1:
- Jon Jay, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Ben Zobrist, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, SS
- Kyle Hendricks, P
Clearly, Joe Maddon is man-crushing on Jay, because he’s started a whole lot lately, and for good reason: .353/.476/.412 (147 wRC+) slash line since July 19.
Of course, the other reason the lefty Jay is starting today (along with three other natural lefties and a switch-hitter) is because the opposing starter, Tanner Roark, has been pretty brutal against lefties (.351 wOBA, 5.34 FIP), but has mostly killed righties (.281 wOBA, 3.03 FIP).
Fortunately, one of the righties he’ll face today is the 2016 MVP Kris Bryant (3B) and another, Willson Contreras (C), has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the second half of the season (we’ll have more on this in a bit).
Other than that, Javy Baez is spelling Russell at shortstop tonight, and everything else is fairly normal. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time.