The Washington Nationals begin a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs. The team from Wrigley brings a lot new faces to the team, and the Nats are familiar with them all. Cody Bellinger from the Dodgers and some classic postseason matchups, Dansby Swanson from years with the Braves, and Trey Mancini who was a fixture in some many Battle of the Beltways games. And of course Yan Gomes, former Nats’ World Series hero, is on this Cubs’ team. Lefty Drew Smyly starts for the Cubs, and the Nats know him from stints with both the Phillies and the Braves.
The Nats have MacKenzie Gore on the mound as he will try to challenge his teammate Josiah Gray for the top spot on the team’s best pitchers. On BBRef’s WAR ranking, Gray is the Nats’ most valuable pitcher, and on Fangraphs’ WAR, Gore is the Nats’ most valuable pitcher. Gray owns the best mark on ERA if you go old school stats. This is a good problem to have when you are debating who is your best pitcher from Top-30 talent in MLB.
The Nats starters ERAs are a combined 4.75 after taking a huge hit from Chad Kuhl‘s eight-run trouncing on Saturday. Kuhl and his 9.41 ERA are now on the 15-day IL. Cory Abbott took his place on the roster but Martinez has said he won’t guarantee Abbott starts until he knows whether he needs him tonight or tomorrow out of the bullpen. Maybe that is showmanship from Martinez since Abbott is here with two days rest from his 5 2/3 inning start on Friday night when he threw a one-hitter.
Here is how they rank:
No. 5 Starter: Chad Kuhl 9.41 ERA
No. 4 Starter: Patrick Corbin 5.74
No. 3 Starter: Trevor Williams 4.10
No. 2 Starter: MacKenzie Gore 3.00
No. 1 Starter: Josiah Gray 2.67
Here is your Baseball Savant Statcast link for the game.
Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
Radio: 106.7 The Fan radio and via the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):