Nationals take on the Cubs following Sanchez’s strong performance
Washington Nationals (71-57, second in the NL East) vs. Chicago Cubs (69-59, second in the NL Central)
Chicago; Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Nationals: Joe Ross (3-3, 5.48 ERA) Cubs: Jose Quintana (11-7, 3.91 ERA)
BOTTOM LINE: Washington heads into the matchup fresh off a dominant performance by Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez went 8 1/3 innings, surrendering one run on one hit with six strikeouts against Chicago.
The Cubs are 44-20 on their home turf. Chicago has a collective on-base percentage of .326, good for fourth in the National League. Anthony Rizzo leads the club with a mark of .398.
The Nationals are 35-31 on the road. The Washington offense has compiled a .264 batting average as a team this season, good for sixth in the majors. Anthony Rendon leads the team with a mark of .323. The Nationals won the last meeting 9-3. Anibal Sanchez earned his eighth victory and Juan Soto went 3-for-4 with a home run and an RBI for Washington. Jon Lester took his ninth loss for Chicago.
TOP PERFORMERS: Javier Baez leads the Cubs with 66 extra base hits and is batting .281. Nicholas Castellanos is 16-for-40 with two doubles, four home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Chicago.
Rendon leads the Nationals with 101 RBIs and is batting .323. Asdrubal Cabrera is 8-for-23 with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs over the last 10 games for Washington.
LAST 10 GAMES: Cubs: 5-5, .205 batting average, 4.76 ERA, outscored by nine runs
Nationals: 8-2, .328 batting average, 3.73 ERA, outscored opponents by 52 runs
Cubs Injuries: Allen Webster: (hand), Brandon Morrow: (elbow), Craig Kimbrel: (knee), Kendall Graveman: (elbow), Xavier Cedeno: (wrist), Daniel Descalso: (ankle), Willson Contreras: (hamstring).
Nationals Injuries: Austen Williams: (shoulder), Austin Voth: (bicep), Jonny Venters: (shoulder), Joe Ross: (shin), Jeremy Hellickson: (shoulder), Koda Glover: (forearm), Roenis Elias: (hamstring), Sean Doolittle: (knee), Ryan Zimmerman: (foot).