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The Chicago Cubs have struggled and sold pieces as they are fourth in NL Central with a 50-54 record this year. They send right Trevor Williams to throw and he comes from a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks where he went 6.1 pointless innings where he allowed five hits and had six strikes without a turn.
The Washington Nationals start selling players after trading their ace Max Scherzer away. They are currently fourth in the NL East with a 47-55 record. Washington has not officially announced who will strike, but according to Fangraphs, Jon Lester expected to be on the mound. He gets lost against the Baltimore Orioles, where he went five innings and gave up three runs on three hits with a walk and a few strikes.
The Chicago Cubs have been on the decline as an offensive team, as they are currently 19th in baseball with a .705 OPS this year. They have already traded Anthony Rizzo to get rid of an offensive force and others may be gone. They have struck for power as they are seventh in baseball with 134 homers so far this season. Chicago has been led by third baseman Kris Bryant, who has a .861 OPS with 18 home runs and 51 RBI. It will be interesting to see who stays on this list when this game starts.
Trevor Williams has struggled this season, according to his Baseball Savant page. He is in the 17th percentile in average exit velocity, 23rd percentile in hard hit percent, 26th percentile in whiff percentage and 37th percentile in xERA. Williams has an arsenal of five pitches (fastball, slider, curveball, sinker, changeup), and his slider has been his best pitch as it has a .174 stroke average with a .261 slugging percentage. He faced the Nats once this year as he went 4.2 innings and gave up two runs on five hits with twice and five strikes in a non-decision.
Soto to lose some friends?
The Washington Nationals have done a solid job this season as they are so far tied for eighth in the majors with a .749 OPS. Nationals are in discussions to potentially trade Kyle Schwarber and potentially other offensive pieces as they begin to rebuild. Nationals score races at a good level, as they also have an average of 4.08 runs per race. Home game this season. Washington is also dealing with a terrible COVID situation where 13 coaches / players were forced to quarantine. Nats is being led offensively by right-back Juan Soto, who has a .940 OPS with 18 homers and 58 RBIs. It will be interesting to see if nationals keep their offense together or if trades come.
– Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 29, 2021
Jon Lester has pitched at an awful level this season, according to his Baseball Savant side. He is in the fourth percentile in strike percentage, seventh percentile in whiff percentage, 18th percentile in xBA and 22nd percentile in xSLG. Lester throws five different courses (fastball, cutter, switchup, sinker, curveball), and the heater has been hit a lot as it has a .383 stroke average with a .605 slugging percentage this year. He faced the Cubs once and lost as he went 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits without walks and four strikeouts.
- Washington: 9-2 in their last 11 home games against an RHP
- Washington: 4-1 in their last 5 games after scoring the 5+ run in their last game
- Chicago: 8-21 in their last 29 games
- Chicago: 6-14 in their last 20 games after a loss