Going into the 2017 NLDS between the Cubs and the Washington Nationals, expectations were that this series would be the most evenly matched of all of the incredible Postseason match-ups. That expectation is coming to fruition so far, just three games in.
I wrote over at Baseline Times earlier in the week about how similar the two teams have been this year, with equally impressive starting rotations, bullpens, and offenses that lead them to take their respective division crowns.
Going into Game 4 on Tuesday, the Cubs lead the series 2-1 after three games that have been nail-biters for each side. Game 1 was a shutout for the Cubs, and after the 3-0 score they stole away the home field advantage from those pesky Nats. Game 2 finished with a score of 6-3 in favor of the bad guys. It came down to 8th inning home runs by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman to tie and then ultimately take the lead and the win. Back in Chicago for Game 3, the final ended up being 2-1 with the Cubbies coming out on top thanks to a bloop by Anthony Rizzo that was both ugly and beautiful at the same time.
Going into Game 4, the Cubs have only outscored the Nationals by a total of one run over the course of series with that lone run coming off the ducksnort by Rizzo. With the winner of this series playing the already advanced Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, the Cubs will look to quickly finish off the series in Game 4 that is scheduled for this afternoon (although it might get rained out and postponed for tomorrow) so that they can save some of their bullpen for the next series.
If I was a betting man, and going to stick with my pre-series prediction, I would say that this evenly matched series will continue on to a five game series and finish with a last inning decision. That would only be right in a series with a match-up like this one.