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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals preview, Saturday 5/18, 6:15 CT

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The Cubs go for two in a row over the Nats.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Notes for today:

  • The six Cub homers Friday were the most since they hit six in a 17-2 blowout of the Phillies, August 26, 2017. The Cubs have hit six or more homers 24 times in franchise history. Here’s the entire list.
  • Cubs record after 42 games:

2019: 26-16, first, 1½ games ahead
2018: 23-19, second, 2½ games behind
2017: 22-20, third, two games behind
2016: 29-13, first, six games ahead
2015: 24-18, second, 2½ games behind

  • Javier Baez had two hits Friday night, extending his career-high hitting streak to 15 games. It’s the longest active streak in MLB. During the streak: .381/.420/.619 (24-for-63) with two home runs and 11 runs scored. He has eight multi-hit games in the 15-game streak.
  • Willson Contreras, last 15 games: .385/.433/.654 (20-for-52), four home runs.
  • Albert Almora Jr., last seven games: 8-for-28, two home runs, six runs scored.
  • The Cubs’ run differential, +61, is second-best in the National League (Dodgers, +64), and their Pythagorean winning percentage calculates out to a 28-14 record.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Nationals lineup:

Jon Lester, LHP vs. Stephen Strasburg, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester, as you know, is having an outstanding season.

With that in mind, you probably don’t want to click on this link to the boxscore of his outing against the Nats last year. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

He does have a career ERA of 3.00 in two starts at Nationals Park and current Nats are hitting .255 (40-for-157) against him, so there’s that.

Jon’s been so good this year that I think this time, maybe you can throw out the previous numbers against the team he’s facing and watch for him to continue his good run. (You believe that, right?)

Stephen Strasburg, last five starts: 2.36 ERA, 0.903 WHIP, 47 strikeouts in 34⅓ innings. And as good as that is, the Nats have won only two of those games, mainly because they’ve been shut out in his last two starts. I’d go for that.

The Cubs hit Strasburg pretty well September 6, 2018 at Nationals Park, with six hits, three walks and three runs in 5⅔ innings. Jason Heyward, in particular, hits him well: 15-for-37 (.405) with four doubles and a home run.

Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Announcers: Len Kasper and Joe Girardi. A reminder that if you subscribe to MLB.tv or MLB Extra Innings, you can watch this game via those services even if it is not on the Fox affiliate in your area.

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. If you do go there to interact with Nationals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game’s StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Poll

Who has the better beard?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Jon Lester
    (18 votes)
  • 63%
    Stephen Strasburg
    (31 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now