We are down to the final four in Major-League Baseball for the 2016 season. Both League Championship series appear to be very similar matchups. In the NL, we have the powerful Chicago Cubs offense facing off against the pitching of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In order for LA to pull off the upset, Clayton Kershaw might just have to start two games and come out of the bullpen in another, like he did in the Dodgers Game Five victory over the Washington Nationals, in order for LA to advance . Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is unafraid to make pitching changes, which is exactly what he did in Game Five against Washington on Wednesday. Starter Rich Hill only pitched 2-2/3 innings, followed by five relievers in the 4-3 victory. Having a quick hook with starters and being unafraid to use the bullpen, which is his team strength, is how the Dodgers could win the NLCS.
The American League matchup looks to be a very similar one, with the offense of the Toronto Blue Jays up against the pitching and bullpen of the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe likes to shorten the game, much like the Dodgers do, which allows their starter to go only five or six innings. Then ace reliever Andrew Miller comes in for an inning or two until their set up man and closer both appear. Both LA’s and Cleveland’s strategies are similar to what defending World Series champion Kansas City used last season on their way to the world championship.
Toronto and Chicago, on the other hand, both possess powerful offenses that can beat you from anywhere in the lineup, so these two series will put the old adage of good pitching beating good hitting to the test.