Cubs vs Nationals Series Preview (August 23-25): TV and Game Info, Starting Pitchers, Insights

The Cubs have momentum coming off a three-game sweep of the Giants, but now they face the surging Washington Nationals for three day games at Wrigley Field. Kris Bryant, Nicholas Castellanos, and Anthony Rizzo are heating up, though, it’s actually not humanely possible for Castellanos to get any hotter. Since his arrival in Chicago, he leads the team in hits, doubles, home runs, runs, extra base hits, and total bases.

The Nationals, who are 8-2 in their last 10 games, have a hot-hitting outfielder of their own in Adam Eaton. He’s hitting .373 in his last 15 games, so the key to the series will be to keep his bat in check.

Jon Lester, who gave up 10 hits and five runs in 4.1 innings the last time he faced the Nationals, will start the series opener for the Cubs. You may remember that earlier game as the one the Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon argued that Nats closer Sean Doolittle‘s foot tap was an illegal move. Maddon won’t get the chance to argue the move this time, as Doolittle is on the 10-day IL with right knee tendinitis.

As for the Cubs bullpen, it has improved the last few games with the addition of Steve Cishek from the IL and Craig Kimbrel having a drama-free save on Wednesday.

With Max Scherzer no returning from the IL on Thursday night, the Cubs will thankfully miss his next start but they will face the third-ranked pitcher in the National League in WAR, Stephen Strasburg, for the series finale on Sunday.

Both teams are surging right now and have dealt with their fair share of bullpen drama. This will be an even matchup and an exciting weekend of day baseball at Wrigley. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will try to make up some ground on the Cubs during their series against the lowly Rockies. They won Thursday night, keeping them a half game behind the Cubs in the division.

Game Time and Broadcast Info

  • Friday, August 23 at 1:20 PM CDT on ABC 7 and MLB Network (out-of-market only)
  • Saturday, August 24 at 1:20 PM CDT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network (out-of-market only)
  • Sunday, August 25 at 1:20 PM CDT on WGN and TBS (out-of-market-only)

Starting Pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T W/L ERA FIP K/BB
8/23 Jon Lester 35 L 10-8 4.23 4.20 3.57
Anibal Sanchez 35 R 7-6 3.99 4.31 2.26
8/24 José Quintana 30 L 11-7 3.91 3.70 3.64
Joe Ross 26 R 3-3 5.48 4.67 1.73
8/25 Cole Hamels 35 L 7-4 3.73 3.88 2.73
Stephen Strasburg 31 R 15-5 3.65 3.30 4.55

What to Watch For

  • Quintana boasts a 1.38 ERA in the month of August and will try to continue that success on Saturday.
  • Castellanos has an 11-game hitting streak at Wrigley Field, which is every game he’s ever played in the ballpark, including four with the Tigers.
  • Since Doolittle has gone on the IL, the Nationals have not been in a save situation. It will be interesting to see who they use as their closer should they require one.
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