NLDS Preview: Cubs vs. Cardinals Part Two

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CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (31) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Starter #4

Cardinals: Lance Lynn, has to prove to us that he can beat this team. I’ve talked about his struggles against this team and their left handed hitters before. So, I won’t bore you to death with the numbers. Lynn’s overall ERA is impressive, but it’s misleading as he has struggled with the walk and his command of the strike zone at times throughout this season.

Cubs: Jason Hammel – Hammel on the other hand, is a bit of a journeyman 3-4 starter. In just his second season as a Cub, Hammel posted respectable numbers with a 10-7 record to go along with his 3.74 ERA. However, like Lance Lynn, Hammel struggled mightily in the second half, posting a 5.10 ERA and giving up 12 homers. Unlike Lynn, Hammel’s struggles potentially point to hitters figuring him out as opposed to Lynn’s being command related. 

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Advantage: Cardinals – what we know here is that Jason Hammel is Jason Hammel (a 10th round pick in 2002) he’s a journeyman 4th-5th starter at best. Lynn on the other hand, when he is right can be downright dominant. This is the perfect spot for Lynn, this could be a potential clincher for the Cardinals or it could be the game that saves them from elimination and takes the series back to St. Louis. Whichever spot the team is in, I am comfortable with Lance here, despite his struggles against the Cubs this season.