This season, the Washington Nationals have a team wRC+ of 102 (which is, incidentally, better than the Cubs (101 wRC+)). And unfortunately for the Cubs, that production is not evenly split.
Check it out:
Nationals vs. LHP: 109 wRC+ (8th in MLB)
Nationals vs. RHP: 99 wRC++ (14th in MLB)
That’s unfortunate for the Cubs because the Nationals have drawn all three of the Cubs left-handed starters this weekend (Lester, Quintana, and Hamels, in that order). That’s not to say they each can’t still succeed, but it’ll obviously be a bit of an uphill battle from thing one.
At the same time, Max Scherzer started last night and Patrick Corbin pitched on Wednesday, which means the Cubs should miss both of those guys over the weekend, which is also quite fortunate. Both teams drew favorably, I guess.
We’re Going Streaking
The Chicago Cubs (69-58) have won five games in a row and are a season-high 11 games over .500. They’re still in sole possession of first place, but they have a very small lead this late in the season.
The Washington Nationals (70-57) have been pretty hot in the second half of the season, and are currently in position to take one of the Wild Card slots.
Game Times and Broadcasts Info
- Friday, August 23rd at 1:20 CT on ABC-7, 670 The Score
- Saturday, August 24th at 1:20 CT on NBCSC, 670 The Score
- Sunday, August 25th at 1:20 CT on WGN, 670 The Score
Game 1: Anibal Sanchez (R) v. Jon Lester (L)
Game 2: TBD v. Jose Quintana (L)
Game 3: Stephen Strasburg (R) v. Cole Hamels (L)
- C – Victor Caratini
- 1B – Anthony Rizzo
- 2B – Ian Happ
- 3B – Kris Bryant
- SS – Javy Baez
- LF – Kyle Schwarber
- CF – Jason Heyward
- RF – Nicholas Castellanos
Unavailable: Willson Contreras, Daniel Descalso, Xavier Cedeno, Allen Webster, Ben Zobrist
- C – Yan Gomes
- 1B – Matt Adams
- 2B – Brian Dozier
- 3B – Anthony Rendon
- SS – Trea Turner
- LF – Juan Soto
- CF – Victor Robles
- RF – Adam Eaton
Unavailable: Sean Doolittle, Roenis Elias, Austin Voth, Ryan Zimmerman, Jeremy Hellickson, Jonny Venters
Keep An Eye Out For …
Cubs Pitcher: Jose Quintana has been electric lately. His last start featured seven scoreless innings. The start before that he struck out 14. And the two starts before that, he combined to throw 13.0 IP with 12 strikeouts and no walks. He’s very much locked in right now, but he will face a tough challenge against the Nationals.
Cubs Player: Ian Happ has slowed down a bit since getting off to such a fantastic start, but he’s still slashing a solid .250/.357/.517 (124 wRC+) overall, with a 14.3% walk rate and 25.7% strikeout rate. If he’s hoping to play once Ben Zobrist returns on September 1st, he’s going to need to get hot over the next week and a half.
Nationals Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg is fresh off 7.0 scoreless innings against the Pirates, with just four hits and one walk allowed. Strasburg faced the Cubs once this year already (May 18th) and went 8.0 innings with just one run allowed, no walks, and 7Ks. So … yeah: even if his overall numbers don’t look as good as they usually do, he’s a very tough matchup.
Nationals Player: future Cub Anthony Rendon has been on fire since the All-Star break, slashing .361/.432/.599 (161 wRC+). Adam Eaton (144 wRC+) and Juan Soto (143 wRC+) have been hot, as well, but Rendon is really on top of his game, with an 11.8% strikeout rate alongside that .238 ISO. Be careful when he’s up, Cubs pitchers.