NLCS Game 4 Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs

The Dodgers are poised to sweep the Cubs for their first pennant in almost 30 years. Can the reigning champs stave off elimination?

The Los Angeles Dodgers won last night’s game 6-1, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the NLCS.

Chicago struck first last night in the bottom of the first inning on a solo home run by Kyle Schwarber but after that, it was all Dodgers. Andre Ethier tied the game up with a solo shot of his own in the second, and then Chris Taylor put LA up 2-1 with a home run in the third, a lead they would hold onto for the rest of the night. 

Other than the home run to Schwarber, Dodgers starter Yu Darvish made few mistakes, completing 6.1 innings and allowing just the one run on six hits, striking out seven and walking one. He even picked up an RBI thanks to a bases loaded walk in the sixth. The LA bullpen combined for 2.2 innings pitched, giving up two hits and one walk, striking out four. 

Game 4 Starters – Alex Wood (LHP) vs. Jake Arrieta (RHP)

Wood’s start in Wednesday’s game will mark his first appearance this postseason. During the regular season, he posted a 2.72 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 25 starts. In his career, he has a 4.91 ERA in 7.1 innings pitched in the playoffs, with six strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP. The lefty made one start against the Cubs in April, allowing two runs, one earned, in 3.2 innings pitched, striking out four and walking five. 

Arrieta’s results were good in his only start this October, although he looked a little shaky on the mound. He pitched four innings of two-hit ball while walking five and allowing one unearned run. His career postseason stats are solid, posting a 3.33 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 46.0 innings pitched, striking out 57. The right-hander made one start against Los Angeles in 2017, giving up four earned runs on five hits over six innings, striking out nine and walking one. 


Dodgers Lineup
Home Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Chris Taylor, SS2.280.379
Cody Bellinger, 1B1.231.286
Justin Turner, 3B2.375.483
Yasiel Puig, RF1.429.538
Logan Forsythe, 2B0.357.526
Andre Ethier, LF1.500.600
Austin Barnes, C1.294.429
Joc Pederson, CF0.333.333
Alex Wood, P0.000.000
Cubs Lineup
Home Runs
Batting Average
On-Base Percentage
Jon Jay, LF0.190.292
Kris Bryant, 3B0.219.242
Anthony Rizzo, 1B1.167.242
Wilson Contreras, C1.200.355
Albert Almora Jr., CF1.182.308
Addison Russell, SS1.214.267
Jason Heyward, RF0.125.300
Javier Baez, 2B0.000.091
Jake Arrieta, P0.000.000

Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not

Yasiel Puig has the best October batting average on the team at .429. Of his nine hits in six games, four of them have been for extra bases, including two doubles, one triple, and one home run. His six RBIs are good for second-most on the team. Justin Turner and Chris Taylor are both posting a 1.000+ OPS, with 1.108 and 1.019, respectively. Turner leads the Dodgers in RBIs with 10, and both Turner and Taylor lead the team with two home runs apiece. 

Cody Bellinger’s postseason has not gone quite as well as his rookie campaign. He is hitting .231 in six games and is the owner of a .670 OPS. He has six hits and nine strikeouts in 28 plate appearances. Of Dodger hitters with at least 10 at-bats this October, only he and Curtis Granderson have batting averages below .250. 

Albert Almora Jr. is the only Cubs hitter batting over .250 this postseason. He has four hits in 14 at-bats, including one double and one home run, which is good for a .286 average. His .905 OPS is also the best on the team, and by a long shot. No other hitter in Chicago’s lineup as an OPS over .800. 

Javier Baez is hitless in eight games this October, going 0 for 20 with two walks and eight strikeouts for a .091 OPS. Kris Bryant has nearly twice as many strikeouts as he does hits this postseason, going 7 for 32 in eight games with 13 strikeouts and only a single walk. Besides Almora Jr., Bryant, and Addison Russell, every Cubs batter is hitting .200 or lower in the playoffs. 

Prediction: Dodgers 6-2 Cubs

I don’t see the Cubs putting up much of a fight tonight, and I think they’ll go fairly quietly as LA steamrolls their way to the World Series. Chicago’s lineup just hasn’t been able to get much of anything going all postseason, averaging just over two runs per game. Even though this is Wood’s first playoff appearance, he showed ace-caliber stuff in the regular season. This is peak performance Dodgers we’re watching right now, and it doesn’t look like anything can stop them in their championship pursuit, even a seasoned playoff veteran in Jake Arrieta. 

Where to Watch

Today’s game will begin at 9:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on TBS. 

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?