MLB Standings & Playoff Race: Why the Chicago Cubs Should Fear the LA Dodgers
The Chicago Cubs are having a magical season this 2016, and have recently registered their 92nd win against the St. Louis Cardinals in demoralizing fashion. They took down the second-seed from the NL Central Division with a 4-1 dismantling that saw Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks' no-hitter bid stopped at the 9th, almost ending a 44-year old record set by Milt Pappas at Wrigley Field.
They're rolling through the National League, and the threat of the Washington Nationals breathing down their necks is laughable, as the Cubs post a 5-2 record against their East Division rivals. No one's even close to the Cubs, and a World Series is pretty much locked up, barring any serious injuries or incidents.
However, the Cubs are seeing something scary in their rearview mirror: the Los Angeles Dodgers have three-time Cy Young awardee Clayton Kershaw back in the driver's seat. Even with the Dodgers leading the NL West, Kershaw's return nearing the playoffs is great news, since his last MLB game was last June 26, and he needs to find his form.
Remember, this is the youngest pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, and the only NL pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1968 to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award. He is widely considered to be the best pitcher in the MLB today.
And now, he's back.
Hendricks might be the front-runner in the Cy Young Award this year, but he is still chasing after the shadow of Kershaw.
Before suffering a herniated disk and relegated to the disabled list, Kershaw was firing a nasty ERA of 1.89 in 14 starts, beating his Cy Young Award winning stat of ERA 2.13 last year. If he is able to properly load his artillery for the playoffs, even the likes of Kris Bryant may have trouble hitting off Kershaw.
Aside from this, the Dodgers' threat to the Cubs is real, with their head-to-head matchup at a close 4-3, with the Cubs getting a slight edge. The seven games actually includes three games in August where Kershaw was out.
With the Cubs and Dodgers all but assured to enter the National League Playoffs, all eyes are on Kershaw's recovery and if he and the Dodgers can cast a spell of their own against the Cubs.
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