The Cubs have not Brennan Scarlett Jerseys won aWorld Seriessince1908or played in one since 1945, but have nowadvanced to consecutive postseasons for just the fourth time in franchise history. After leading MLB with 103 regular season wins, the Cubs are favored to win the World Series and finally end the Curse of the Billy Goat, but history and the pesky Giantsstand in their way.
It's hard to live up to expectations in the postseason, even for 100-win teams.
Of the last27 teams with at least 100 wins in the regular season, only twowent on to win the World Series (Yankees in 1998,2009). Can the Cubs buck the trend, or will it be the Giants heading to the NLCS looking for theirfourth consecutive World Series title in an even-numbered year?
Here's what you need to know about the NLDS:
MLB PLAYOFFS 2016:
Cubs-Giants NLDS TV schedule
Game 1: | | | |
Game 2:Giantsat Cubs,8:08 p.m. ET on Saturday |TV: MLB Network Jeff Samardzija(12-11, 3.81 ERA) vs.Kyle Hendricks (16-8,2.13 ERA).
Game 3:Cubs at Giants, time TBA on Monday|TV: Fox Sports 1 or MLB Network Jake Arrieta (18-8,3.10 ERA) vs. *Madison Bumgarner (15-9,2.74ERA).
Game 4 (if nece sary):Cubs at Hunter Long Jerseys Giants,time TBAon Tuesday |TV: Fox Sports 1 John Lackey (11-8,3.35 ERA) vs. *Matt Moore (13-12,4.08 ERA).
Game 5(if nece sary)Giantsat Cubs,time TBAonThursday Jason McCourty Jerseys |TV: Fox Sports 1 pitchers TBA
* Probable pitcher
Jeff Arrieta (Getty Images)
Players to watch
Jake Arrieta has regre sed since his superhumanCy Young campaign last season and is somewhat struggling entering the postseason. Over Arrieta's final eightregular-season starts, the right-hander owned a4.74 ERA with a dismal 41:24 K:BB ratio that included a seven-walk outing against the Brewers at Wrigley.
Kris Bryant is just the second Cubover the last 85 yearsto ama s at least 120 runs, 35 doubles, 39 homers and 100RBIs in a single season. The MVP candidate batted.292/.385/.554 during the regular season. He and Anthony Rizzo are the first Cubs duo with 75 extra-base hits in the same season since 1930.
If you need any other reason to watch Bumgarner pitch in the postseason, here it is. Following a complete-game shutout in the wild-card game, the southpawnow has sixcareer postseason starts without allowing a run, tying Tom Glavine formost alltime.Bumgarner is 8-2 with a 2.25 ERA against theCubs, including 7 2/3 innings to outduel Hendricks for a 1-0 win May 22.
Could Giants third basemanEduardo Nunez' Cethan Carter Jerseys s injury (hamstring) be a ble sing in disguise?Wild-card hero Conor Gillaspie is 9 for his last 18 with twohome runs, eightRBIs, and four runs scored. October is all about unlikely heroes, andGillaspie couldbe the guy forSan Francisco.
Madison Bumgarner (Getty Images)
Opposing batters hit just .209against Chicago pitchers this season, which is the second-lowest batting average against of any NL team in modern baseball history. Tyreek Hill Jerseys Cubs pitchersalso allowed the fewest runs (556) and hits (1,125) during the regular season.
It's hard to find weakne ses for the Cubs, but with their tendency to blow out opponents comes with the inability to win close games. Chicago is2223 in one-run games during the regular season and were1537 when trailing after six innings. This stat could loom large as the final five games between the clubs during the regular seasonwere all decided by one run.
Cubs relievers owned the sixth-worst walks per nine innings ratio (3.81) this season and have the fourth-worst home run to fly ball rate (14.2 percent). The Giants' penwas the biggest i sue in the second half, with the team setting a franchise record by losing nine games it led after eight innings, including five in Nik Needham Jerseys September.
Despite a nearcollapse in the second half, momentum is on the Giants' side,having rattled off five straight wins, outscoring their opponents 29-6, including a 3-0 win over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
TheGiantshave won all 11 postseason rounds under manager Bruce Bochy, tying Yankees manager Joe Torre (1998-2001)for the longest streak in major league history.