As I'm sure you know, game one of the NLDS is upon us. The game starts at 8 CT at Wrigley Field, with the pitching matchup of Lester vs Cueto. Although, I would have much rather seen the Cubs play the Mets (as expressed in my last post), the Giants will make for an exciting series.
With last year's very gratifying win in the NLDS vs. the Cardinals comes another opportunity to shut down another team who may look like they are destined to win. The Giants have won the World Series for the last three even number seasons (2010, 2012, 2014). It would be a really satisfying win if the Cubs could break that streak.
The Cubs are 4-3 vs. the Giants last year. Five of the seven games were one run games. That is a really good indicator that this series could easily go either way. Both teams have solid bats and a very good pitching rotation. Tonights pitching matchup is a solid indicator of that. John Lester has an ERA of 2.44, and Johnny Cueto has an ERA of 2.79. It is a solid bet that tonights game is going to be very low scoring. The bullpens will have a huge role in the outcome of tonights game.
The Cub's bullpen has an ERA of 3.56, ranking 9th in the MLB. If Lester can go deep in the game today, Chapman should be able to finish them off. The Giants have an ERA of 3.65 ranking 15th in the MLB. If the Cubs can do the Giants bullpen what they've been doing to so many bullpens all season, they should be in pretty good shape.
I will follow up tonight with some post game analysis and thoughts. Enjoy game 1 everyone!