The Cubs have a shot at splitting this four-game set against the Nationals in Washington today.
Here’s the group that’ll do it:
- 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
As expected, Kris Bryant is not in the lineup today (Jeimer Candelario grabs the start at third base in his absence) after rolling his ankle on an infield pop-up last night. Perhaps relatedly, Anthony Rizzo slides back down in the order into a more traditional slugging spot in the lineup.
That means that Jon Jay is leading off and playing left field. He’s joined in the outfield by Albert Almora (CF) and Ian Happ (RF), batting seventh and second respectively.
The best news of the day, however, is that Addison Russell (sore shoulder) is returning to the lineup and shortstop position. I thought the Cubs might’ve given him a couple of games at second base to ease him back in, but instead they felt that his shoulder was strong enough to make full throws from short. Javy Baez, then, slides over to second, and everything else falls into place.
As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ closer to game time (3:05 CT).