Dodgers @ Cubs October 15, 2016: NLCS Game 1

Dodgers
Cubs
5:00 PM PT, FS1
Chicago
LF
Kendrick
CF 
Fowler
3B
Turner
3B
Bryant
SS
Seager
1B
Rizzo
RF
Puig
LF
Zobrist
1B
González
SS
Russell
C
Ruiz
RF
Heyward
2B
Hernández 2B Baez
CF
Pederson
C
Ross
P
Maeda (R)
P
Lester (L)

Have you come down yet from Game 5 of the NLDS? I’m not sure I have. But now there’s more baseball to be played, as the Dodgers kick of a series with a very good Cubs team. Dustin provided an in-depth series preview earlier today, if you want to know what to look for throughout these games.

After much public deliberation, Kenta Maeda was announced as the Dodgers’ Game 1 starter (and really, there shouldn’t have been much question). Maeda did not face the Cubs this year, so this will be their first look at him.

Maeda last pitched in Game 3 on Monday, meaning he’ll be going on four days’ rest. This season, Maeda has been at his best on five days’ rest. The difference:

Four Days Five Days
Games Started 13 13
IP 70.1 71.2
ERA 3.97 3.01
AVG .247 .220
OPS .728 .586
WHIP 1.308 0.991
BABIP .315 .263
K 80 62
BB 26 13
K/BB 3.08 4.77

The big gap in BABIP suggests that some of the difference in offense allowed has been luck. The strikeout and walk numbers are somewhat interesting — Maeda’s struck out more batters on normal rest, but he’s walked more as well, and his overall ratio is better on the extra day of rest. In any event, the overall results favor five days’ rest, but there’s no reason to think Maeda can’t be effective on regular rest.

Jon Lester is coming off of a great season, one in which he made two fine starts against the Dodgers. On June 1, Lester pitched a complete game against the Dodgers at Wrigley, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out 10. In his August 28 outing at Dodger Stadium, he delivered six scoreless innings in a game that the Dodgers eventually won, 1-0.

Lester is, of course, a lefty. Dave Roberts et al responded accordingly, sending out a lineup that includes Carlos Ruiz, making his first postseason start, and Enrique Hernandez, making his first postseason appearance (he wasn’t on the NLDS roster). Howie Kendrick is starting in left field and not at second base, because … that’s what he told Roberts he preferred. Alright, cool.

Lester pitched Game 1 of the Cubs-Giants NLDS, and delivered eight scoreless innings. That was eight days ago, so he’ll be extra rested.

—–

After throwing a career-high 51 pitches on Thursday, Kenley Jansen is ready to go tonight, should the Dodgers need him:

The Dodgers have confirmed that Clayton Kershaw is starting tomorrow, and Rich Hill will start Game 3 in Los Angeles. Even looking to tomorrow feels like it’s looking too far ahead right now, though.

It’s hard to imagine a series being more dramatic than the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS was, but let’s see what this one has in store for us.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.