The Chicago Cubs have a chance to clinch their first National League pennant and World Series appearance in 71 years Saturday when they host the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will look to build on a recent offensive resurgence, as they have managed 18 runs over the past two games.
Game 6 will start Saturday at 8:08 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. As has been the case throughout the NLCS, Joe Buck and John Smoltz will be in the booth, with Ken Rosenthal reporting from the field.
The pitching matchup will be a rematch of NLCS Game 2, when Clayton Kershaw and Kyle Hendricks duked it out for the Dodgers and Cubs, respectively. Kershaw got the better of Hendricks then, tossing seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits in a 1-0 victory.
Kershaw, in effect, serves as the Dodgers’ best hope to keep their World Series chances alive. The Dodgers have had five wins this postseason. Kershaw has appeared in four of them. In fact, the Dodgers have won every single one of Kershaw’s appearances this postseason, regardless of whether he has brought his best stuff to the mound. His 3.72 ERA this postseason indicates that he has not always delivered ace-like stat lines in his appearances, but the Dodgers have nonetheless found other ways to win with him on the mound.
For the Cubs, Hendricks has developed into an unexpected ace. His 2.13 ERA this season led all qualified starters and his 0.98 WHIP ranked second, just a tick behind WHIP leader Max Scherzer. The 26-year-old may have a shot at winning the NL Cy Young Award in the offseason, but neither of his postseason starts saw him go very deep into games. Hendricks left his start in Game 2 of the NLDS after just 3⅔ innings and 52 pitches after taking a liner on the arm, and his Game 2 start in the NLCS saw him removed after allowing just three hits and one run in 5⅓ innings.
The Dodgers’ offense will need to match the Cubs’ in order to avoid elimination. The Cubs have seen Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo break out of their prior offensive slumps to lead the charge at the plate. In addition to hoping Kershaw can stifle the Cubs’ lineup, the Dodgers will need a little offense of their own.
After hitting .400 with a home run and five RBI in the NLDS, third baseman Justin Turner has cooled off vs. the Cubs, hitting just .235 in the NLCS. Turner is riding a modest three-game hitting streak, however, including a home run in Game 3. The Dodgers will need Turner or maybe the similarly slumping Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson, who are hitting just .222 and .211 this series, respectively, to step up to keep their postseason chances alive.
How to Watch NLCS Game 6
When: 8:08 p.m. ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Streaming: Fox Sports Go or Postseason.tv
Radio: ESPN Radio