After all eight remaining teams were in action during Friday’s MLB postseason action, just the National League will take center stage Saturday in a pair of Game 2s from the division series.

A pair of division winners lead off the day’s play, as the NL East champion Washington Nationals host the NL West-winning Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the series 1-0.

In the nightcap, the San Francisco Giants, who went into Queens and took the Wild Card Game, head back to Wrigley Field down 1-0 to meet the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs:



Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals

Probables: Rich Hill (12-5, 2.12 ERA) vs. Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83 ERA)

The headline of this game will be the two men on the mound to start Saturday afternoon.

Los Angeles’ Rich Hill and Washington’s Tanner Roark are both making their postseason debuts after solid seasons.

Roark put up a career-best 16-10 record and 172 strikeouts in his fourth professional season to go with a 2.83 ERA that ranked sixth in the majors.

Hill, on the other hand, just finished his 12th regular season, which began in Oakland with the Athletics. After going 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA as the Athletics ace, Hill, who is a free agent at the end of the year, was dealt at the deadline to a Dodgers team in need of pitching depth after the injury over the summer to ace Clayton Kershaw.

In six starts with the Dodgers, his first stint as a NL pitcher since 2008, Hill posted a minuscule 1.83 ERA.

Having spent most of the past eight seasons in the American League, he’s an unfamiliar arm for a lot of NL teams, including the Nationals.

Only Stephen Drew, Bryce Harper, Jose Lobaton, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman have faced Hill in their careers, going a combined 5-for-8.

On the other side of the diamond, 10 different Dodgers have faced Roark for a combined 54 at-bats.

Familiarity in big situations can always give one particular team a leg up. In this case, it’s advantage Dodgers, especially with a hot pitcher on the mound like Hill.

Prediction: Dodgers 5, Nationals 3


San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs

Probables: Jeff Samardzija (12-11, 3.81 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (16.8, 2.13 ERA)

It’s not going to matter who the Giants are rolling out on the mound for Game 2 of the NLDS at Wrigley Field as long as his name isn’t Madison Bumgarner, which it isn’t after his complete-game gem in the Wild Card Game against the Mets.

Instead, it’s Jeff Samardzija, who has allowed nine runs in two career starts against his former team.

The Cubs are rolling out Kyle Hendricks, who had the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.13, which was 0.31 points lower than the second-place Jon Lester, who is also Hendricks’ teammate.

Against a Giants offense that was hitless against Noah Syndergaard through the first 5.2 innings in the Wild Card Game, a pitcher who has been as good as Hendricks could be too much for San Francisco to handle. Especially after it was held scoreless Friday night in Game 1.

Having already faced the Giants once during the regular season, Hendricks allowed just one run on three hits in 5.1 innings. However, he did lose the game 1-0, but it was opposite of Bumgarner, who went 7.2 innings, gave up three hits and struck out six.

As long as Bumgarner doesn’t take the mound and Hendricks is on point, the Cubs should win this game.

Chicago has an offense that scored 808 runs in the regular season, third-most in the majors, and it got its power surge from the bottom of the lineup Friday night in the form of Javier Baez, via MLB:

That should be more than enough to head to San Francisco with a 2-0 lead after Saturday night due to an anemic Giants offense.

If not, Bumgarner is looming in Game 3, and a loss at Wrigley on Saturday means all the momentum swings to the Giants as the series progresses.

Prediction: Cubs 6, Giants 1


Stats courtesy of

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