Series Preview: Nationals at Cubs, August 10 – August 12, 2018

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Series Preview: Nationals at Cubs, August 10 – August 12, 2018

Series Previews

This afternoon, the Cubs are beginning a five-game homestand against two pretty tough teams in the Nationals and Brewers.

And in case you missed it, the dreadful Washington Nationals team of the first half has been playing a lot better lately and will be throwing Max Scherzer on Sunday. Sure, the Cubs are fortunate enough to miss Stephen Strasburg (DL) and Gio Gonzalez (threw 7.0 innings of one-run ball against the Braves last night), but it’ll still be a tough weekend overall. Hopefully, they bring their A-game.

By the way: Today’s lineup is already out.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (64-47) finally got above .500 in the second half of the season, but are hanging onto that by just one game (11-10). They still have a 2.0-game lead in the NL Central over the Brewers and are 6-4 in their past ten.

The Washington Nationals (59-56) may have disappointed in the first half of the season, but they’re playing .579 baseball in the second half. With that said, they have just split a four-gamer with the Braves, scoring 14 combined runs in their wins and just 4 combined runs in their losses. They’re 5.5 out of first in the East and and 4.5 out of the Wild Card. They NEED these games.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

  • Friday, August 10th at 1:20 CT on CSN-C, MLBN 670 The Score
  • Saturday, August 11th at 3:05 CT on ABC-7, FS1 670 The Score
  • Sunday, August 12th at 7:05 CT on ESPN, 670 The Score

Chicago Cubs

Probable Pitchers:

  • Kyle Hendricks (4.07 ERA, 4.36 FIP; 3.24 K/BB)
  • Jon Lester (3.44 ERA, 4.82 FIP; 1.96 K/BB)
  • Cole Hamels (0.82 ERA, 2.52 FIP; 3.67 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Anthony Rizzo
  • 2B – Javy Baez/David Bote
  • 3B – Ian Happ/David Bote
  • SS – Addison Russell
  • LF – Kyle Schwarber/Ben Zobrist
  • CF – Albert Almora/Ian Happ
  • RF – Jason Heyward/Ben Zobrist

Unavailable: Anthony Bass, Justin Hancock, Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Drew Smyly, Brandon Morrow

Washington Nationals

Probable Pitchers:

  • Jeremy Hellickson (3.56 ERA, 4.07 FIP; 4.54 K/BB)
  • Tanner Roark (4.21 ERA, 4.11 FIP; 2.68 K/BB)
  • Max Scherzer (2.28 ERA, 2.72 FIP; 5.54 K/BB)

Active Depth Chart:

  • C – Matt Wieters
  • 1B – Matt Adams
  • 2B – Daniel Murphy
  • 3B – Anthony Rendon
  • SS – Trea Turner
  • LF – Juan Soto
  • CF – Bryce Harper
  • RF – Adam Eaton

Unavailable: Sean Doolittle, Erik Fedde, Kelvin Herrera, Stephen Strasburg, Joaquin Benoit, Howie Kendrick, Joe Ross, Jhonatan Solanco

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Brandon Kintzler is sure to make an appearance this weekend and against his former team. Here’s to hoping he can rub his success since coming to the Cubs (3.2 IP, 2H, 0ER, 1B, 1K) right in their faces.

Cubs Player: Ben Zobrist is returning to the starting lineup this afternoon, after taking a short time off for a sore hip. Given the way he’s swung it this season and especially lately (213 wRC+ since the break), here’s hoping he feels better. 

Nationals Pitcher: Mac Scherzer is arguably on a collision course with yet another Cy Young award this season (he already has three, and five top-5 finishes), having already accumulated 5.1 WAR by the middle of August. The Cubs can beat him, but he’s one of the few *true aces* in all of baseball.

Future Cubs Player: Bryce Harper has been HOT since the All-Star break, slashing .339/.447/.677 with 5 homers, 6 doubles, and a 13.2% walk rate in 76 plate appearances. The only good news? He’s been striking out a lot (28.9%). The bad news? Cubs starters haven’t struck many guys out this summer.


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.