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Cubs vs Nationals: Lineups, Pitching Matchup, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Cubs

After battling back to claim a series against the Padres, the Cubs lost three in a row to the Marlins in Miami, all by a single run. Fortunately, a four-game set against the Nationals is as soft of a landing as you’re going to get. Unfortunately, MacKenzie Gore is on the mound tonight and has been pretty good this season. The Cubs lineup has their work cut out for them.

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Nico Hoerner, 2B
  2. Dansby Swanson, SS
  3. Cody Bellinger, CF
  4. Seiya Suzuki, RF
  5. Trey Mancini, 1B
  6. Patrick Wisdom, DH
  7. Yan Gomes, C
  8. Nelson Velázquez, LF
  9. Nick Madrigal, 3B

As you can see, Matt Mervis is NOT in the Cubs lineup today, in case you were holding out hope. I believe he’s from the D.C. area, so we were all kinda hoping the Cubs would make this the week of his promotion. Then again, starting him against a tough lefty in his big league debut probably wouldn’t make the most sense. Maybe tomorrow. Always tomorrow.

Speaking of that lefty, the Cubs lineup has a different, but solid look in the lineup tonight. Ian Happ gets the night off in favor of Nelson Velázquez. And Cody Bellinger moves way up to occupy his spot in the lineup. Those are good decisions. Happ hasn’t been locked in as a righty this year and Velázquez has looked good. Bellinger, as we discussed this morning, has been even hotter. You can’t sit him right now against anyone.

Eric Hosmer is also on the bench in favor of Trey Mancini and Patrick Wisdom, which opens up third base for Nick Madrigal against a lefty. This is a strong Cubs lineup today. I like it.

Washington Nationals Lineup:

  1. Alex Call, LF
  2. Luis Garcia, 2B
  3. Jeimer Candelario, 3B (old friend!)
  4. Joey Meneses, DH
  5. Keibert Ruiz, C
  6. Lane Thomas, RF
  7. Dominic Smith, 1B
  8. Victor Robles, CF
  9. CJ Abrams, SS

Pitching Matchup:

Chicago Cubs: Drew Smyly, LHP

Drew Smyly followed up his near-perfect game with a respectable 5.0 inning, 2 run outing against the Padres last week. Pitchers often struggle after long, high-stress, history-seeking games, but Smyly came through. And against a great Padres lineup, no less. He’s been on a really nice streak ever since his second start of the season (four starts): 23.1 IP, 11H, 4ER, 4BB, 24K. That said, the Nationals are an above-average offense against left-handed pitching (108 wRC+).

Washington Nationals: MacKenzie Gore, LHP

We talked about MacKenzie Gore a bit in the series preview earlier today, and the short version is: Yeah, he’s probably pretty good. The Cubs have handled left-handed pitching well this season, and Gore will walk you if you let him. But there’s still a reason he was part of the Juan Soto trade last summer. He was, not too long ago, as tippy-top as tippy-top pitching prospects get. And he’s off to a pretty great start this year: 3.00 ERA over 5 starts. The Cubs lineup will have their work cut out for them, before things ease up over the next three games.

Gore is primarily a four-seam, curveball, slider guy. And that curveball can be nasty.

Broadcast Info:

Chicago Cubs (14-13) vs Washington Nationals (10-17) at 6:05 pm CT on Marquee Sports Network, 670 The Score

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami