Perhaps the most worrisome part of the Cubs’ roster, their starting pitching once again carried them through the first round of playoffs. Between the four starters used, they combined to throw 22 2/3 innings across five games.* In those games, the starters only gave up five earned runs, good for an earned run average of 1.99. But this shouldn’t be as huge an issue for Los Angeles, an offense that fired on all cylinders all season long, September excluded.
Arrieta, Quintana, Hendricks and Lester were all dominant in this series. And three of those four guys were fairly successful against Los Angeles last playoffs (Quintana was added on this year).
Despite their success, they did show a weakness which the Dodgers are sure to exploit. The starters walked 12 batters in their series with the Nats, and the staff allowed 16 free passes overall. The Dodgers were the most patient team in baseball this season, leading everyone in walks.
Keys to Success: Jump on the starters early, but be patient enough to wait for openings.