Chicago Cubs: Why Cole Hamels should start first playoff game

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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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Chicago Cubs: When the time is right, Quintana has to get pulled

Quintana has had an up-and-down 2018 season, holding a 4.33 ERA and 1.385 WHIP in 25 starts. Those aren’t terrible for a fourth starter, but advanced statistics show Quintana gets worse as a game progresses.

According to Fangraphs, Quintana’s ERA when a lineup rolls around are as follows: first time through the order-3.02 ERA; second time through the order-3.79 ERA; third time through the order-8.20 ERA.

Quintana has been shaky in 2018, but especially the third time he faces a lineup. The Cubs need more than four or five innings from a starting pitcher leading their rotation. If it was not obvious already, Quintana is not that guy.

Montgomery has had a nice 2018 season, filling in admirably as a starting pitcher in Darvish’s absence. However, he has been a valuable long reliever for the team since arriving in 2016.