Cubs vs. Nationals Preview, Monday 8/19, 7:05 CT: No NL Central For A While

Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

If you think playing inside or outside the division doesn't matter, read on.

The Cubs have just completed a nine-game stretch inside the National League Central during which they went 3-6.

The Cubs' next 16 games are all against teams not in the National League Central. Why does this matter?

Cubs vs. NL Central: 19-37
Cubs vs. all other teams: 34-33

I don't get it either, but there it is. The .500 mark against teams outside the Cubs' division implies they might be able to go 8-8 over the 16-game stretch coming up.

That'd be nice. I'm tired of watching them lose.

Cubs lineup:

Lake CF, Barney 2B, Navarro C, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Murphy 3B, McDonald LF, Ransom 1B, Samardzija P

Now, there's an interesting choice. Anthony Rizzo gets the day off against a RHP. Maybe the day off will do what it did for Starlin Castro back in June. There is, however, a report that Rizzo is sick today. That's cool too; whatever the reason, he could use a break.

The Nationals lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the Nats lineup, and to see if DDJ is in it!

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann


Nationals

vs. Was

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jeff Samardzija 6-11 25 25 1 1 0 0 159.1 154 82 76 16 63 163 4.29 1.36


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jordan Zimmermann 14-6 24 24 3 1 0 0 158.0 141 57 53 14 31 116 3.02 1.09

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Nationals site Federal Baseball.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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