Alex Brandon/AP

As expected, Bryce Harper will return to the Nationals lineup tonight against Zack Wheeler and the Mets. In a mild surprise, Harper will be hitting cleanup behind Jayson Werth. That actually makes good sense — Werth is the Nationals’ best hitter right now, and a team’s best hitter generally hits third. Harper’s left-handed bat behind him should help him see pitches to hit. It also allows Ian Desmond to bat fifth and keep the lefty bats of Adam LaRoche and Harper separate.


1. Denard Span, CF

2. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

3. Jayson Werth, RF

4. Bryce Harper, LF

5. Ian Desmond, SS

6. Adam LaRoche, 1B

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Anthony Rendon, 2B

9. Dan Haren, SP



9. Zack Wheeler, SP