The 2017 MLB postseason has arrived and the Washington Nationals are preparing to face off against the Chicago Cubs. Joe Maddon and Dusty Baker will be locked into a heated battle in the dugout with a lot of talent for both of them to use. Both teams have certain advantages, but for the most part are evenly matched.
Looking ahead at the upcoming series, there is a good chance that it will be the best of the division series round.
Chicago comes in playing their best baseball of the season. After a short hangover following their World Series win last season, the Cubs rebounded and still managed to win over 90 games. Washington, on the other hand, won 97 games and has the potential to make a World Series run of their own.
Pitching will be the key in this series. Washington will be able to put forward two aces in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, while the Cubs will be starting Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester in games one and two respectively. Jose Quintana has been penciled in as the Cubs’ World Series starter for Game 3.
All of that being said, what bold predictions can be made for the 2017 National League Division Series between the Nationals and Cubs?
Chicago Will Open the Series with a Road Win
While having the home field advantage is a plus for the Nationals, the Cubs are going to come in and steal Game 1. Hendricks will pitch a gem and the Cubs will display their offensive firepower. It won’t be a blowout, but the Cubs will get the job done to open the series.
Washington Wins Games 2 and 3
Chicago may take the first game, but the Nationals will bounce back with wins in the next two games. They did not win 97 games by mistake and will showcase their potential and put the Cubs on the brink of elimination.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo Will Combine for Six Home Runs in the Series
There are very few teams with the back-to-back power that the Cubs bring to the table with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. They are two of the best players in baseball and will come through for their team when it needs them the most. Bryant and Rizzo will combine for six home runs throughout the NLDS.
Chicago Wins Two Games to Advance to the NLCS
Finally, Maddon and the Cubs will once again advance to the NLCS and likely face the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second straight year. Washington isn’t going to go down without a fight, but the Cubs will be too much. Their offense is a bit better, which will end up being the difference.
Do you think the Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs will win this NLDS series? How many games do you think the series will go? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Jeff Roberson/AP Images]