(CBS) The Cubs have moved Jason Heyward to center field and flanked him with Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist in the corners of the outfield against the Nationals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday night. Zobrist will lead off.
The decision by manager Joe Maddon is a nod toward the 30-homer power of Schwarber and postseason pedigree of Zobrist over the option of a better defensive outfield.
Chicago will start right-hander Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA), while Washington counters with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52).
Schwarber’s inclusion in the lineup was expected by most, as he fares best against right-handers. He’s never faced Strasburg in his career.
Zobrist’s inclusion in the lineup came at the expense of utilizing Jon Jay or Ian Happ in center field and keeping Heyward in right, where he’s a Gold Glover. Zobrist is 1-of-5 with a homer in his career against Strasburg.
Here’s the Cubs’ lineup:
Ben Zobrist, RF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Willson Contreras, C
Kyle Schwarber, LF
Addison Russell, SS
Jason Heyward, CF
Javy Baez, 2B
Kyle Hendricks, P