In addition to falling just two wins shy of reaching the 2016 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the reality and disappointment of blowing a 2-1 series lead against the Chicago Cubs in last year’s National League Championship Series.
Although the score didn’t necessarily reflect as much, the majority of the six games were close contests. Where the Dodgers tended to struggle and the Cubs succeed was in situational hitting. The same can be said for the first regular-season meetings between the two teams.
While the Dodgers lost two of three at Wrigley Field, manager Dave Roberts believes there isn’t much, if any, separation between his club and the reigning World Series champions, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“You look at our club and we know we’re evenly matched,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think they know it as well. We’ll get them at our place. I think they know we’re not going anywhere. It’s a series we’d like to have won (this week). But I think we’re two evenly-matched clubs.”
Los Angeles went just 1-for-24 with runners in scoring position and stranded 26 batters during the three-game series. The Cubs weren’t much better in either department, going 3-for-25 with runners in scoring position and leaving 21 men on base.
The Cubs and Dodgers are considered among the favorites to reach and win the 2017 World Series. The Dodgers haven’t advanced to the Fall Classic since 1988, while the Cubs ended a 108-year drought last year by defeating the Cleveland Indians.
The next time Roberts will get to see how his club stacks up against the Cubs is Friday, May 26, for the start of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.