- Two games on Monday will decide the NL Wild Card matchup and fill out the remaining NL Division Series. Here's what you need to know about the matchups.
With a pair of tiebreakers on tap Monday before the playoffs begin, here's a thorough look at what lies ahead for the Brewers, Cubs, Rockies and Dodgers as the NL Wild Card and Division Series matchups are decided.
Jose Quintana vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Quintana hasn’t had quite the season expected of him, pitching to a 4.09 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 154 strikeouts in 169 1/3 innings. Don’t tell that to the Brewers, though. Quintana made six starts against them this year, totaling a 2.17 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings. The Cubs won five of those six games, with Quintana amassing a 4-1 record. What’s more, he largely neutralized the Brewers’ best hitters.
Christian Yelich: 1-for-11, three strikeouts
Ryan Braun: 3-for-16, two homers
Jesus Aguilar: 4-for-13, four strikeouts, zero homers
Mike Moustakas: 0-for-4
Travis Shaw: 0-for-2
Lorenzo Cain touched Quintana up for a 6-for-15 line with one homer, one double and two walks, but the Cubs will live with that, especially given the success Quintana has had against Yelich. The seventh matchup between Quintana and the Brewers’ offense will go a long way toward determining which team wins the NL Central, and which hosts the NL Wild Card game on Tuesday.
TBD vs. Chicago Cubs
The Brewers haven't announced their starting pitcher at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon. An educated guess would be Jhoulys Chacin, who's been the Brewers' most reliable option in the starting rotation. He'll finish as the staff leader in innings with 187 in 34 starts. He last took the mound on Wednesdsy—allowing one earned run in five innings against the Cardinals—so he could start Monday on normal rest.
What's more, Chacin dominated the Cubs in four starts this season. He allowed only four earned runs in 22 2/3 innings with two starts at home and two in Chicago. At Wrigley Field he allowed only one earned run in 12 2/3 innings.
Walker Buehler vs. Colorado Rockies
Buehler made more starts against the Rockies than any other team during his rookie year, taking the ball against them five times. He got just one decision—a loss—but he completely dominated the team that stands between the Dodgers and a sixth consecutive NL West title. Buehler tossed 31 innings in those five starts, racking up a 2.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 33 strikeouts. He held Nolan Arenado to a 3-for-10 line with zero extra-base hits and five strikeouts. Trevor Story took him deep once, but went just 3-for-14 with four strikeouts. David Dahl, one of the hottest hitters in the league of late, went 2-for-8 with two strikeouts against Buehler. D.J. LeMahieu managed a 3-for-12 line with one extra-base hit, a double, and two strikeouts. Buehler and Charlie Blackmon mostly battled to a draw, with the center fielder going 4-for-15 with a homer, two walks and five strikeouts. In short, this matchup sets up perfectly for the Dodgers, especially with the game at home. No L.A. starter had more success this season against the Rockies, collectively or against their best hitters individually, than Buehler.
German Marquez vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s just one catch for the matchup setting up perfectly for the Dodgers. It’s the pitcher on the other side. Marquez made three starts against the Dodgers this season, pitching to a 2.57 ERA and 0.76 WHIP with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Cody Bellinger, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Max Muncy combined to go 4-for-28 with one homer (Muncy) and nine strikeouts against Marquez. On top of that, Marquez has been one of the most effective pitchers in the majors in the second half. He has made 12 starts since July 29, totaling a 2.16 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings. The Rockies have gone 8-4 in those games, and Marquez has made a quality start in all 12 trips, allowing two or fewer runs in at least seven innings in nine of the outings. Both teams are sending the right pitcher to the mound in the one-game playoff for the NL West crown on Monday.