Managers: Dusty Baker vs. Joe Maddon
It is tough to find specific stats to evaluate a manager on, so there will be certain things to watch with each of these skippers. We’ve already talked about Maddon having to deal with Harper, but how does he handle his starters, include Jake Arrieta (if he pitches in this series?
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Maddon had all the pressure in the world to get the Cubs a title last year. Now, he comes into this series feeling less heat. Instead, that heat is on Baker, who is trying to win his first World Series and get this team over the first round hump.
Last year, Baker didn’t make any bad moves in the NLDS, but got outmanaged by a new manager in Dave Roberts, who was aggressive with his pitching decisions. How long will Baker use his starters and how quick will he go to the “Law Firm” in the bullpen? Those will be interesting questions to figure out.
Plus, there is the news surrounding Baker’s contract. Will the Washington Nationals extend Baker before the series begins? If not, that question will be asked repeatedly before games and it will leave fans wondering whether or not a series victory will determine Baker’s fate in D.C. Not exactly the pressure you want going into a postseason.
What is your favorite position battle to watch in this NLDS matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals? Let us know in the comments section below.