And then there were four! That’s right, we’re getting down to the end here, folks, and it’s going to be a doozy. We’ve got four teams in the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, the Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers that have dominated pretty much all year (besides the Cubs first half) and earned their spot to the LCS.
But what matters now isn’t the past. It’s the here and now. If you’re looking back behind you all the time, all you’ll experience is a funny smell emanating from below. That’s why we’re giving you a look at what is most important in these two matchups so you have an idea of what to watch for as this postseason continues.
The Los Angeles Dodgers –Clayton Kershaw: Yes, this man is a key player in this NLCS. He and he only has the power to change this series – both for the better and the worse. Kersh gets amped for regular season starts (the guy puts on his cleats at 9 am, seriously) so just imagine how excited he is for a postseason gig. In the past, it has hurt him and those numbers are well documented. But, lately, he has cleaned things up in the postseason. This guy can singlehandedly change the outcome of two, maybe three, games in this series – for better and worse – so keep an eye on how his rhythm looks early in games.
The Chicago Cubs –Will they score?: Now it’s no secret that the pitcher’s in the postseason are the best that get seen all year. They’re all jacked up on Mountain Dew because it’s the playoffs and teams use only their best because there are more travel days and the whole nine. But the Cubbies hit just .180 as a team in the LDS. Their OBP was .285. They slugged at .280. I’m not great with math but that isn’t going to work consistently, no, sir. These Baby Bears are simply just going to have to score more runs. We don’t care how it gets done. Just…more!
The New York Yankees –Can the bullpen continue dominating?: There has been a very clear advantage for the Yankees in this postseason that they have had over everyone they have played (and will play). That bullpen is something else. “You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.” While we see no reason for their dominance to suddenly halt, this is the Yankees absolute strength. If it wavers, they are going to have significant issues. We all remember how Mr. Untouchable Aroldis Chapman got touched up last year, do we not?
The Houston Astros –Can the Astros get lucky?: Now don’t read that the wrong way. We aren’t for one second suggesting that the ‘Stros aren’t a good club and got to where they are via dumb luck. But we are saying that the all or nothing offense they have can be up and down. In just seven games, that kind of streakiness can be a huge issue. A skid for four games kills off your season. The pitching, too, is going to have to put it together at the right time. The starters should be strong (or at least strong enough) but will the bullpen bring enough clout to lock down wins?
You may now halt your reading. Good day.
So, that’s it, that’s what we’ve got. Stop reading and go watch some baseball!
Did that not work? Okay, then, um, shopping, women’s shoes, gardening, whatever color fuchsia is, jewelry.
Is no one paying attention now? Okay, now I’m safe to make my predictions. Astros in 6, Cubs in 7, woahhhhh!