by James Darby
The NLCS is all set between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In my eyes I can see this being a series baseball fans will be talking about for years after. And rightfully so, no matter who comes out on top between the two teams a long world series drought will come to an end. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series since 1945 while the Dodgers haven’t been to the fall classic since 1988. MLB couldn’t have asked for a better match up in the NLCS, as this features two of the most historical franchises in baseball. Both fan basses are very passionate for their respectful teams and are dying to see a World Series come to their city. With both teams matching up pretty even the only question that remains is what kind of blue will we see moving on in this series? Dodger blue or Cubbie blue?
Lets first take a look at the Dodgers and see what could propel this team to the World series.
First off the Dodgers have a good manager that knows how to push the right buttons to get a playoff win. Now I’m not saying that Joe Maddon isn’t a good manager, in fact I think Maddon is the best in all of baseball. But watching the Dodgers in their last few playoff appearances it seemed former Dodger manager Don Mattingly had trouble knowing when to and when to not pull his pitchers. Evidence to that is in 2014 when the Dodgers bullpen and Clayton Kershaw struggled against the Cardinals. Now that Dave Roberts is managing this team, it seems he knows who to have in at the right moments. In game 5 of the NLDS against the Nationals, Roberts looked like a genius bringing in Kenley Jansen in the seventh and Clayton Kershaw to get the final out. What also could be an advantage for the Dodgers is their rotation. With Kenta Maeda, Clayton Kershaw, and Rich Hill all expected to start for the Dodgers, it would be three starters the Cubs haven’t seen all season long. The Cubs have struggled when facing pitchers for the first time as we saw that most recent when Matt Moore was on the mound for the Giants. Moore would strike out ten over eight innings. With a good manager at the helm and an unfamiliar rotation to the Cubs, the Dodgers are hoping this will put them over the Cubs.
Now onto the Cubs. A team that didn’t hit like they were in the regular season. The Cubs in the postseason so far are hitting .200, the lowest of all eight teams that were playing in the divisional series. I’m not to worried though as the Cubs did face a great pitching staff in the San Fransisco Giants. With that said the Cubs still have some advantages over the Dodgers as the NLCS is upon us. The first thing I see when I look at the Dodgers is a team that does not hit left handed pitching well. Chase Utley hit .154 and Joc Pederson batted .125. The team overall against lefties hit just .213. With the Dodgers struggling against lefties it can work in the advantage to the Cubs left handed pitchers like Jon Lester, Travis Wood, Mike Montgomery, and Aroldis Chapman. What I also like about the Cubs is their depth over the Dodgers. Joe Maddon is the reason ehind the depth as he has more confident in his players then Dave Roberts has in his. Roberts has been forced to pitch Kershaw on short rest and close games while Kenley Jansen is coming into games in the seventh. To me that shows he doesn’t have confidence in his other pitchers to get the job done especially in the bullpen. But for the Cubs, they don’t have to worry about skipping starters and having any pitchers go on short rest. Plus Maddon and the Cubs have a better bullpen and more confidence in it then the Dodgers do in their own pen.
It’s going to be an interesting series. One I see going all seven games but in the favor of the Cubs. They are the more balanced, powerful, and rested team then the Dodgers. But don’t count out the Dodgers who are trying to “Win one for Vin” (in reference to Vin Scully). This is a match up of two cities that are different. There’s the bright lights of Los Angeles with all the movie stars and Hollywood with the warm weather by the beach. Then you have Chicago, nicknamed the “Windy City” and know for all it’s blue-collar workers and, where you can see all four weather seasons in about a two day period. No matter how different the cities and the teams maybe, both have one thing in common. They want to see their team in the World Series.