Who will win the NLDS: Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals? | The Tylt
After an exciting National League Wild Card round, Division Series promises to bring that same intensity. In one series, the Chicago Cubs face off against the Washington Nationals with a spot in the National League Championship on the line. The defending champion Cubs started the season slow, but are peaking at the right time. The Nationals have one of the most complete teams in the league. Who will take the series? ⚾
Who will win the NLDS: Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals?
The Chicago Cubs began the season lacking the magic that made them World Series champs last year. But it's not how you start, it's how you finish.
The Cubs enter the postseason going 49–24 in the second half of the season. Their offense, which was stagnant at the beginning of season, revved up a notch with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo leading the way. The Cubs went from averaging 4.5 runs per game in the first half to 5.8 in the second. With Chicago peaking at the end of the season, they will be tough to stop.
Not only did the Cubs' hitting improve, their pitching perked up as the season progressed. Here's what Sports Illustrated had to say:
The rotation, meanwhile, dropped its ERA from a terrible 4.66 before the break to 3.38 after, with Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta turning their seasons around after rough starts.
Washington Nationals' fans stepped away from the proverbial ledge when it was revealed Cy Young-favorite Max Scherzer's injury the last game of the season was a hamstring cramp, instead of something more serious. With Scherzer having some time to recover, the Nationals should have one of the most untouchable pitching staffs in the playoffs with an explosive offense to boot. The Cubs may be coming into the postseason hot, but Washington has more than enough weapons to cool them off.
MLB experts love the Nationals' pitching staff, but fans shouldn't overlook their devastating offensive lineup. Here's Sports Illustrated with the low down:
The return of Bryce Harper, who missed nearly two months with a scary knee injury...still needs to get his timing back but is an obvious difference maker if he’s fully healthy. And he’s got a stupendous offense behind him, with MVP contender Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy and the rejuvenated Ryan Zimmerman making for a strong middle of the order—and leadoff hitter Trea Turner ready to cause chaos on the bases.