Chicago Cubs: A back-end starter won’t cut it this time around

Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /
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Nats, Dodgers outclass Cubs – at least on paper

Washington will trot out the formidable trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez in a postseason series. The first two are annual Cy Young contenders, while Gonzalez remains one of the most underrated left-handers in the National League.

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Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ rotation is loaded with depth. Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw leads the pack, followed by a combination of Rich Hill, Alex Wood and either Kenta Maeda or Hyun-Jin Ryu. But, at least for argument’s sake, let’s focus on the three lefties.

Wood, Kershaw and Hill combined for a 10.6 WAR in 2017. Kershaw finished in the Top 5 in National League Cy Young voting for the seventh-straight year while Wood and Hill gave the Dodgers the rotation strength needed to reach the World Series.

The Nationals’ trio was even better, coming in with a 14.9 WAR between their top three starters. Scherzer alone put up a 6.0 WAR in 2017, en route to his second-straight National League Cy Young Award. Both the Dodgers and Nats have a bona fide ace atop the rotation – and you have to wonder if the Cubs really have someone of that caliber.