Cubs-Dodgers: The champs are here, but they’re not the favorites


The Cubs and Dodgers will determine the Nationwide League pennant for the second straight yr, however the roles are reversed.

In 2016 the Cubs have been the clear workforce to beat and confirmed it, ousting the Dodgers in six video games earlier than profitable the franchise’s first World Collection since 1908. This yr the 104-win Dodgers are the higher group on paper and might be favorites to succeed in the World Collection for the primary time since 1988.

Right here is how the groups stack up:

On the plate

Getting on base: The Cubs have two of the most effective at reaching base atop their lineup in Jon Jay and Kris Bryant, each of whom had an on-base proportion above .four hundred. However the center-to-backside of the lineup – Addison Russell, Jason Heyward and Javier Baez – are low on-base guys. Justin Turner (.415 on-base) leads the Dodgers, who’ve stability all through the lineup, with Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Austin Barnes, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Logan Forsythe all above common at reaching base.

Edge: Dodgers

Hitting for energy: Bryant, Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber all hit at the least 20 homers on this loaded Cubs’ lineup. Schwarber’s uncooked energy is among the many greatest within the recreation. The Dodgers have as many solutions with Bellinger, Turner, Seager, Puig, Turner and Taylor.

Edge: Cubs

Yasiel PuigGetty Photographs

On the bottom paths: For a slugger, Rizzo isn’t afraid to swipe the occasional base – he had 10 steals in the course of the common season – and Baez additionally stole 10. For the Dodgers, Puig, Taylor and Bellinger mixed to steal forty two bases, one thing for Cubs pitchers to think about all through the collection.

Edge: Dodgers

Within the subject

Infield protection: Russell is a possible Gold Glove shortstop and Baez enhances him up the center. Bryant and Rizzo are strong on the corners. Seager is among the many recreation’s premier defensive shortstops, and when Forsythe performs second base the Dodgers have a particular double-play mixture. Turner is robust at third base, and Bellinger a mean first baseman.

Edge: Cubs

Javier BaezGetty Pictures

Outfield protection: Jay is restricted in middle subject for the Cubs, however he receives assist from Heyward, who stays among the many recreation’s greatest defensive proper fielders. Zobrist is common in left area. The Dodgers have plus-defenders in Taylor, Puig and Enrique Hernandez within the outfield, however Curtis Granderson has misplaced a step.

Edge: Dodgers

Bench: Happ has been a weapon for the Cubs off the bench and joins Albert Almora, Leonys Martin and Tommy La Stella for a strong…



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