2017 National League Championship Series Preview: Chicago Cubs vs Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the best team in baseball this year and they proved it again by sweeping a very good Arizona Diamondbacks team. The Chicago Cubs endured a hard fought and grueling five game series against the Washington Nationals. One is battle tested and the other is well rested. This National League Championship Series could not have two teams coming in to this series with two different statuses of rest. So how will that play out? That remains to be seen, but now lets compare the teams.

Starting pitching

The Cubs pitching staff, which was a huge reason why they won the World Series last year, struggled for the most part of this season, but finally turned it around in the second half when acquiring Jose Quintana. This rotation looks solid on paper and could go toe to toe with most rotations in baseball. They boast talent in Jake Arrieta and experience in Jon Lester. However, the Dodgers are a different case. Their rotation IS the best in the National League and there is no question about it as they have the best pitcher in baseball with Clayton Kershaw as their ace, plus they have Yu Darvish who is an ace himself and two talented pitchers in Alex Wood and Kenta Maeda. The Cubs will really have to step up their game if they want to advance to the World Series.

Advantage: Dodgers


Actually I am going to make this short. On paper this bullpen looks really good with Wade Davis as their closer, but they struggled all season and were used heavily to the point that they are coming in tired as all get out. The Dodgers have the best closer right now in Kenley Jansen and also their bullpen is well rested. This was an easy call.

Advantage: Dodgers


The Cubs can score at a moments notice and they are very tough to contain. They have a great 1-2 punch with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, plus a great pure hitter in Kyle Schwarber. While not as good as last season's offense, they can still score lots of runs. The Dodgers on the other hand are very lethal and have plenty of options. They will be without Corey Seager this series, but they still have Cody Bellinger, a rookie phenom, and a very productive Justin Turner. This offense really was a big reason why they were so good. While this maybe closer than some, this was also an easy call.

Advantage: Dodgers


There were lots of questions about the Cubs defense this season as it was not quite as good as it was last season which pretty much was the main reason why they won the World Series. However, if they can find that magic again, the Dodgers will struggle to find hits. The Dodgers though, have a fantastic defense and this is their only "weak" spot. It may not be a number one defense, but it sure is a great one.

Advantage: Close, but the edge goes to the Dodgers

In this one it sure seems like the Dodgers should have no problem as they are the best team in baseball. The Cubs though played really well in the second half as they had one of the best records in that time period. Baseball is also about timing and about rhythm which the Cubs clearly have, but will the layoff affect the Dodgers? Thats a question that remains to be seen. While the Cubs could make this a good series, I am very confident the Dodgers will continue to show why they are the best.

Prediction: Dodgers