Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Joe Maddon believes he loses little when he gives Addison Russell the day off in favor of Javier Baez who starts at short for the Cubs on Friday.

Cubs' pitching leads the way

Following Kyle Hendricks' six shutout innings against Washington on Thursday, Chicago's starting rotation has an MLB-best 2.12 ERA -- the second-lowest ERA through 27 games in franchise history, per Elias Sports Bureau.

  • 1918 - 2.05 ERA, 17-10 W-L record
  • 2016 - 2.12, 21-6
  • 1985 - 2.14, 18-9
  • 1963 - 2.14, 16-11

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
3hDavid Schoenfield

Five teams where Tim Lincecum could end up

Heading into Tim Lincecum's long-awaited pitching "showcase," David Shoenfield identifies five fits for the two-time Cy Young winner.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Jason Heyward is back in the starting lineup for the Cubs on Friday as is Javier Baez who starts at SS. Heyward was nursing a sore wrist, Addison Russell gets a day off. Tommy La Stella is also in there after a 3-hit night on Thursday as the Cubs face Max Scherzer with John Lackey on the mound for the home team.

Getty Images, AP Photo
3hBuster Olney

Cubs already looking like the 1998 Yankees

The 2016 Cubs, like the 1998 Yankees, are making their at-bats count and feasting on weak opponents, and they haven't necessarily hit full stride yet.

Stats & Info

Winners in the windy city

With the AL Central-leading White Sox hosting the AL East-leading Red Sox and NL East-leading Nationals visiting the NL Central-leading Cubs on Thursday, Chicago was the place to be for first-place teams.

Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports
6hFootball Outsiders staff

Biggest remaining holes for all 32 teams

The Colts still need depth behind RB Frank Gore, and the Bucs could use a receiver opposite Mike Evans. Football Outsiders analyzes the biggest post-draft needs for every team.

David Banks/Getty Images
12hJesse Rogers

Cubs' Ben Zobrist is happy right where he is

Ben Zobrist had several offseason suitors, but coming home to Illinois and reuniting with Joe Maddon in the Cubs' hot start is feeling just right.

Chris Sale more confident now than ever (1:56)
Red Sox go deep three times in win over White Sox (0:28)

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Ben Zobrist drove in 4 runs on Thursday helping the Cubs to a 5-2 win over the Nationals as he moved into second place on team in RBI.


Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Dexter Fowler explains why he got kicked out of Thursday's game against Nationals after striking out looking for the second time. He didn't like the strike zone of ump Vic Carapazza who tossed him.

Cubs win showdown with Nats (1:11)
Zobrist drives in four against Nationals (0:31)

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

After throwing 6 shutout innings on Thursday night against the Nationals starter Kyle Hendricks lowered the ERA of the Cubs starting staff to 2.12. That's tops in the majors breaking a tie with Washington. Both came in at 2.19 but Joe Ross gave up 2 runs while Hendricks kept them off the board.

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

Travis Shaw with a triple thanks to very generous scorekeeping. Austin Jackson was there in time at the warning track in deep center, but the ball clanked off his glove. Come on, this is the major leagues. That's an error. Let's see if it leads to a run.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Chicago Cubs OF Dexter Fowler was ejected from tonight's game against the Washington Nationals at the end of the third inning after arguing a high strike 3 call by home plate ump Vic Carapazza. It was the second time tonight Fowler went down looking, Joe Maddon picked up the argument after Fowler as the outfielder headed to the clubhouse. Jason Heyward took over in center after missing the last 3 games with a sore wrist.

Notre Dame has notable draft prospects

It's highly unlikely that both QBs Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer would leave, but it's hard to say which would depart early without knowing who is going to win the starting job. The rest of the group projects to mostly midround depth, though tackle Mike McGlinchey is one to watch. Teams with most 2017 draft talent (Insider)