The Cubs will open the National League Championship Series on Saturday in either New York or Los Angeles. Games one and two of the NLCS will be at Citi Field or Dodger Stadium. Major League Baseball has not announced starting times. TBS will broadcast the NLCS and Pat Hughes, Ron Coomer and Len Kasper will be calling the action on WBBM.
In the best of seven series, the Cubs will host games three, four and five, if necessary, starting Tuesday, Oct. 20 (Oct. 20-22). If the NLCS goes beyond Game 5, the Cubs would hit the road for games six and seven back in New York or Los Angeles (Oct. 24-25).
The Cubs were 7-0 in seven games against the Mets during the regular season, but the New Yorkers are a much different team. David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud are healthy, plus the Mets added Yoenis Cespedes, Steven Matz, Michael Conforto, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard to the roster. In seven games against the Dodgers, the Cubs were 3-4. And the three victories were rather memorable … two wins in games started by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at Wrigley and Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs have not announced the pitching rotation for the National League Championship Series. With the Cubs beating the Cardinals in four games, Joe Maddon will be able to set up his rotation. Either Jon Lester or Jake Arrieta will start Game 1. Arrieta would pitch on regular rest if he started the opener of the NLCS. Lester would be pitching on seven days rest if he gets the ball in Game 1. Reports suggested Tuesday that Arrieta might benefit from an extra day based on his performance in Game 3 of the NLDS.
Chris Bosio said Wednesday during an interview with David Kaplan on ESPN 1000 that Jon Lester will probably start Game 1 of the NLCS.
Here’s how each of the four starters have performed against the Mets and Dodgers this season and in their career.
Jon Lester was 1-0 in two starts against the Mets in the regular season with a 2.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Lester allowed three runs on 10 hits, two home runs, with five walks and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. Lester received a no decision at Citi Field after pitching seven innings of shutout ball while allowing five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.
For his career, Lester is 2-0 in three starts versus the Metropolitans with a 2.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP (five runs, 14 hits, 10 walks, 18 strikeouts in 18 innings). Lester has made only one start at Citi Field.
Mets Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Curtis Granderson: 12-for-44 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and three walks
- Michael Cuddyer: 5-for-19 with two doubles and one walk
- Kelly Johnson: 1-for-15 with two walks
- Yoenis Cespedes: 2-for-13 with two walks
- Lucas Duda: 2-for-6 with one home run
- Wilmer Flores: 1-for-5 with one home run and one walk
- Juan Lagares: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Daniel Murphy: 1-for-6
- David Wright: 0-for-2 with one walk
Jon Lester faced the Dodgers twice this season and lost both games. Lester was 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Lester allowed nine runs on 12 hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts in 10 innings. Lester is 1-2 in three career starts versus the Dodgers with a 5.19 ERA and 1.33 WHIP (10 runs, 15 hits, eight walks, 18 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings). At Dodger Stadium, Lester is 1-1 in two career starts with a 4.05 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Carl Crawford: 10-for-42 with one double and four walks
- Howie Kendrick: 7-for-34 with four doubles and one walk
- Jimmy Rollins: 3-for-16 with one walk
- Chase Utley: 2-for-12
- A.J. Ellis: 1-for-6 with two walks
- Adrian Gonzalez: 0-for-6
- Kike Hernandez: 2-for-6 with one triple
- Justin Turner: 0-for-4 with one walk
- Andre Ethier: 2-for-4
- Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-3 with one double
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Justin Ruggiano: 2-for-3
Jake Arrieta also made two starts against the Mets in 2015. Arrieta was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 0.63 WHIP. Arrieta allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings. At Citi Field, Arrieta allowed one run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings.
For his career, Arrieta is 2-1 in five starts with a 1.82 ERA and 0.89 WHIP (seven runs on 23 hits with eight walks and 32 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings). And at Citi Field, Arrieta is 1-1 in three starts with a 2.05 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Curtis Granderson: 10-for-30 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and three walks
- Lucas Duda: 4-for-11 with three walks
- Daniel Murphy: 3-for-12
- Michael Cuddyer: 2-for-9
- Kelly Johnson: 0-for-6 with three walks
- Wilmer Flores: 3-for-8 with one double
- Yoenis Cespedes: 1-for-6 with one home run and one walk
- David Wright: 0-for-4 with two walks
- Juan Lagares: 0-for-3
- Travis d’Arnaud: 1-for-2
Jake Arrieta made the best start of his career against the Dodgers this season when he no-hit Don Mattingly’s team at Dodger Stadium. That was Arrieta’s only start versus the Dodgers in 2015. For his career, Arrieta is 1-2 in three starts against the Dodgers with a 4.50 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Arrieta has allowed nine runs on eight hits with 11 walks and 21 strikeouts in 18 innings. At Dodger Stadium, Arrieta is 1-1 in two career starts with a 2.57 ERA and 0.86 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jake Arrieta
- Adrian Gonzalez: 5-for-18 with one double, one home run and one walk
- Carl Crawford: 5-for-14 with two doubles, one home run and two walks
- Jimmy Rollins: 0-for-10 with three walks
- Chase Utley: 0-for-10
- Andre Ethier: 1-for-7 with one double and one walk
- A.J. Ellis: 0-for-3 with two walks
- Howie Kendrick: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-3
- Kike Hernandez: 0-for-3
- Joc Pederson: 0-for-3
- Yasiel Puig: 2-for-3 with one double
- Justin Ruggiano: 1-for-2
- Justin Turner: 0-for-1
Kyle Hendricks faced the Mets once in 2015. And Hendricks picked up the win after throwing six scoreless innings while allowing three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Hendricks is 2-0 in two career starts versus the Mets with a 0.69 ERA and 0.69 WHIP (one run, six hits, three walks, nine strikeouts in 13 innings). Both of Hendricks career starts against the Mets have come at Citi Field.
Mets Career Numbers against Kyle Hendricks
- Lucas Duda: 2-for-4 with one home run and two walks
- Curtis Granderson: 1-for-6
- Daniel Murphy: 1-for-6 with one double
- Juan Lagares: 0-for-5
- Wilmer Flores: 0-for-4
- Travis d’Arnaud: 0-for-3
- Kelly Johnson: 1-for-2
- David Wright: 0-for-3
- Michael Cuddyer: 0-for-2
Hendricks made one start against the Dodgers this season. Hendricks was 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA and 1.00 WHIP (four runs, four hits, one walk, three strikeouts in five innings) at Wrigley. Hendricks is 1-1 in two career starts versus the Dodgers with a 3.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. One of Hendricks’ best outings in 2014 came at Dodger Stadium where he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Kyle Hendricks
- Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-4 with one walk
- Justin Turner: 2-for-5 with one home run
- Carl Crawford: 0-for-3
- A.J. Ellis: 0-for-3
- Adrian Gonzalez: 1-for-2 with one home run and one walk
- Kike Hernandez: 0-for-3
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-3
- Andre Ethier: 1-for-2
- Joc Pederson: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Jimmy Rollins: 0-for-2
Jason Hammel received a no decision in his only start against the Mets this season. Hammel allowed one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in eight innings. Hammel held the Mets in check while his teammates tried to figure out Matt Harvey. The Cubs won the game 2-1 on May 13 at Wrigley. Hammel is 0-3 in five career starts versus the Mets with a 4.91 ERA and 1.30 WHIP … at Citi Field, Hammel is 0-2 in three starts with a 6.91 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
Mets Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Kelly Johnson: 9-for-30 with one double, two home runs and one walk
- Curtis Granderson: 8-for-24 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Daniel Murphy: 6-for-11 with two doubles and one walk
- David Wright: 1-for-7
- Michael Cuddyer: 1-for-7
- Lucas Duda: 0-for-1
- Wilmer Flores: 0-for-3
- Kevin Plawecki: 0-for-3
Hammel made two starts against the Dodgers this season. Hammel was 0-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.87 WHIP (three runs, six hits, five walks, 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings). Hammel lasted five innings at Dodger Stadium and was hung with the loss after allowing four runs on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings.
For his career, Hammel is 2-6 in 16 games, 12 starts, versus the Dodgers with a 4.93 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. At Dodger Stadium, Hammel is 0-4 in five starts and eight games with a 4.91 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.
Dodgers Career Numbers against Jason Hammel
- Adrian Gonzalez: 7-for-38 with two doubles, one home run and four walks
- Andre Ethier: 10-for-29 with two doubles, two home runs and five walks
- Jimmy Rollins: 4-for-22 with one home run and three walks
- Howie Kendrick: 7-for-16 with two doubles and one walk
- Chase Utley: 5-for-9 with one triple, one home run and two walks
- Carl Crawford: 1-for-4 with one double and one walk
- Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-5
- Kike Hernandez: 1-for-5
- Justin Turner: 1-for-3
- A.J. Ellis: 0-for-3
- Joe Pederson: 0-for-3
- Yasiel Puig: 1-for-3 with one triple
Joe Maddon would be able to send his Game 1 starter to the hill in Game 5 on regular rest. The Game 2 starter would receive an extra day in between starts if there is a Game 6. If the NLCS was to go to seven games, the Game 3 starter would be on regular rest. Maddon’s starters for games five and six would likely not be available in a relief role in Game 7.