The Washington Nationals begin the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs tomorrow; here are five potential x-factors.
Tomorrow night, the Washington Nationals will begin the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs. It appears to be an excellent matchup, featuring two of the National League’s top teams.
The Nats and Cubs will oppose each other in the NLDS and are certainly two of the top teams in the National League, but they each have very different backgrounds and mindsets entering the postseason.
Everyone knows what the Cubs did last year. The so-called “lovable losers” had not won a World Series in 108 years, but finally ended the drought in a riveting series against the Cleveland Indians. Despite their youth, the Cubs are one of the best and most experienced postseason teams, which makes them a tough opponent in a short series.
The Nats, on the other hand, have not won a postseason series since returning to DC in 2005. This is their fourth trip to the postseason, but they have been excruciatingly eliminated in the first round in each of their three prior postseason appearances.
The two teams had seven regular season matchups this year, with the Nats winning four of the seven. The season series was very closely contested, which has been an obvious trend over the past two seasons.
Since 2016, the Nats and Cubs have played 14 regular season games, with 11 of them being decided by three runs or less. Since the games are typically so closely contested, one player could make an enormous impact. The NLDS is a short best-of-five series, so one play could drastically change the series.
With that in mind, it becomes obvious that there are several x-factors from each team that could single-handedly change the series. Without further ado, let’s take a look at a few possible x-factors.