If you’ve read any of the pundits these past few days you’d think that Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA) won the Cy Young last year. He did not. Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) did win it and that’s who will face the Giants tonight at AT&T Park.
Don’t get me wrong, Bumgarner has certainly had a fine year so far, yielding a 2.74/3.24/3.54 ERA/FIP/xFIP slash and a .265 opponents BABIP. Not bad. Of course, Jake isn’t far off those numbers with his 3.10/3.52/3.68 and .241 BABIP.
So the pitching match-up is pretty even, right?
On offense, it’s another story, with the Cubs producing 808 runs against the Giants 715 over the 2016 regular season. The Cubs have also hit 69 more home runs – 199 verses 130 – than the Giants. And one more stat, the Cubs also lead the league in walks. That’s significant going into the game tonight because, as you’ll see below, Bumgarner’s numbers get substantially worse than Arrieta’s when each has two strikes on an opposing batter.
MadBum BABIP w/ 2 Strikes
— Cubs Kingdom (@CubsKingdom) October 10, 2016
Call me crazy, but that’s a pretty big difference.
Joe Maddon is marching out a righty centric lineup tonight with the lefty on the hill. Jason Heyward will not start and Ben Zobrist will take the reigns in right field. Javy Baez covers second base, making his third straight start in the NLDS.
Jorge Soler makes his first start of the series in left field and Miguel Montero – with his superior framing skills – will set up behind the plate to catch for Jake.
Here’s the rest of tonight’s Chicago Cubs lineup: