Joe Maddon posted his lineup for the finale of the three-game series with the Nationals. Albert Almora Jr. makes his first start in center field with Dexter Fowler getting the day off.
Maddon said Tuesday he was toying with the idea of not starting Fowler on Wednesday in order to maximize Thursday’s off-day to give him an extended breather. With Fowler taking a break, Albert Almora Jr. will be in center field on Wednesday with Kris Bryant in left field and Jason Heyward in right.
Jason Hammel gets the ball and will have a very good defense behind him.
Cubs batting order: Ben Zobrist 2B, Jason Heyward RF, Kris Bryant LF, Anthony Rizzo 1B, Miguel Montero C, Albert Almora Jr. CF, Javier Baez 3B, Addison Russell SS, Jason Hammel P
Maddon has Ben Zobrist leading off and is running out a balanced lineup against Stephen Strasburg.
Right-handers have a .660 OPS against Strasburg this season with a .241/.295/.365 slash line. Left-handers have a .553 OPS, more than a 100 points lower with a .190/.247/.306 line.
Joe Maddon will begin the game with Chris Coghlan, Matt Szczur, Dexter Fowler, David Ross and Tim Federowicz on his bench.