The Cubs won the first game of the series last night, giving them two chances to come away with weekend series win against the Nationals.
Here’s how they’ll line up for Game 2.
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Kris Bryant, RF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, SS
- Willson Contreras, C
- Jason Heyward, CF
- Addison Russell, 2B
- David Bote, 3B
- Jon Lester, P
Unlike Max Scherzer last night, Stephen Strasburg does not carry notable lefty/righty splits – i.e. he’s pretty much equally effective against lefties and righties. Which is to say, he’s very effective against both lefties and righties. In fact, if anything, he’s been a reverse-split pitcher this season, but the gap is so small, it’s basically irrelevant.
On top of that, Strasburg is carrying a 32.6% strikeout rate against just a 7.0% walk rate this season, with a 51.1% ground ball rate to boot. And if all of that wasn’t enough, he’s got the single lowest (best) hard-hit rate in all of baseball. Put simply this is an extremely tough matchup, even for a rockin’ and rollin’ Cubs offense.
With that said, Albert Almora Jr. is taking a seat today, in favor of Jason Heyward in center field. And with right field vacant, Kris Bryant is shifting out, to make room for David Bote at third base. Daniel Descalso gets the day off at second, in favor of Addison Russell, and Willson Contreras is once again behind the plate.
And finally, after reaching four times last night (including three walks and a homer), Kyle Schwarber is back up top and in left field. As usual, we’ll have your full Pre-Gamin’ post closer to game time (6:15 CT).