The NLCS heads to Wrigley Field after the Dodgers took a 2-0 series lead thanks to a Justin Turner walk off 3-run homer. The Dodgers have had everything go right as they stay red hot in the postseason, now 5-0 and looking to take care of business in Chicago. The Cubs seem to still be reeling after the insane Game 5 in Washington. They had great pitching in NLCS Game 2, but the bats remained quiet (which they have been almost the entire postseason) and the bullpen a continued problem. Many criticized Joe Maddon for not throwing Wade Davis in the 9th, but he still may not be 100% since NLDS Game 5 (shouldn’t matter, it’s the dang postseason). Now the Cubs come home and really need to get things going and going fast. The Cubs will attempt to do this by sending one of their stud starting pitchers, “The Professor” Kyle Hendricks to the mound. Hendricks has been pretty solid in his playoff, even in the rocky NLDS Game 5 he was solid. The Dodgers will look to take a 3-0 series lead with the win in NLCS Game 3 and they’ll send their trade deadline piece Yu Darvish to the mound.
Last time Darvish started, it was NLDS Game 3 in Arizona and he threw 5 solid innings, only giving up 1 earned run and striking out 7. He didn’t face the Cubs this year but he has throwing 4.2 innings at Wrigley in his career and things didn’t go well. Darvish has been a much better pitcher in the road this year (2.44 ERA) compared to home (5.25 ERA) so the Darvish may be ready to deal tonight. He has solid numbers vs the current Cubs roster who have only hit .195 vs Darvish with zero home runs (very small sample). Darvish’s kryptonite this season has been the early home run ball and LHB who have hit .262 this year off him compared to .194 for RHB.
Hendricks on the other hand come into NLCS Game 3 coming off the 4 earned run performance versus the Nationals, but he really settled down after the big Michael A Taylor home run. He has a 3.27 ERA this postseason giving up 4 earned runs in 11 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts. Like Darvish, Hendricks didn’t face his opposition this season, but the current Dodgers roster is only hitting .123 vs Hendricks with 1 homer which belongs to Justin Turner (again team small sample).
The Cubs come home to Wrigley in a must win spot tonight and throw Hendricks who never seems to be overwhelmed by the moment. The Dodgers throw Darvish in a game that could easily set them up for the World Series birth they’ve been waiting for. The wind should be blowing out at 10+ MPH to centerfield and that could play very large in this matchup. If Hendricks has the sinker working things definitely shit into the Cubs favor, but the Dodgers offense is the hotter of the 2. This should be a really solid game with both pitchers going around 5 innings and then the bullpens taking over….where the Dodgers have a huge advantage. With all this being said, I like the Cubs to get into the win column tonight and win a 6-4, must watch ball game.