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National League Championship Series Game 2 Preview: Cubs vs. Dodgers, Sunday 10/16, 7 p.m. CT

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The Cubs look to go up two games to none in the NLCS.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Before this year, the Cubs had played in nine best-of-seven postseason series.

They'd won the first game three times in those nine tries: 1908 World Series, 1935 World Series and 1945 World Series. (They also had a tie in Game 1 of the 1907 World Series, then won the next one.)

So make that four after Saturday night's win, and it's also a first for the divisional-play era (lost the first game of the best-of-seven NLCS in 1989, 2003 and 2015).

I'm well aware that this is a different time and different age of Cubs baseball and different players playing in 2016, all of which has nothing to do with any of those previous series.

Still, it's nice to put that history behind us.

Let's make more history over the next few days.

SITE NOTE: Cub Tracks, which normally runs Sunday mornings, will run Monday instead so we can get all the links to reaction to Games 1 and 2. Then, we'll have another edition at the usual Tuesday morning time, previewing Game 3.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Russell SS, Baez 2B, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Hendricks P

Dodgers lineup:

Utley 2B, Seager SS, Turner 3B, Gonzalez 1B, Reddick RF, Pederson CF, Grandal C, Toles LF, Kershaw P

Kyle Hendricks


Clayton Kershaw

Kyle Hendricks was having a really good Septembr (1.38 ERA, 0.885 WHIP) in four starts, until he had a rough outing the last start of the regular season at Cincinnati.

That doesn't sound great until you look at his home/road splits this year:

Home: 1.36 ERA, 0.860 WHIP in 17 games (16 starts) covering 98⅔ innings
Road: 2.95 ERA, 1.099 WHIP in 14 starts (covering 91⅓ innings

Now, those road numbers are pretty good -- but the home ones are much better. Four HR allowed at Wrigley, 11 on the road.

Just keep up the good work at Wrigley, Kyle.

The Cubs have not faced Clayton Kershaw this year. Kershaw, as you know, had an unbelievable K/BB ratio -- 15.64 -- which was double anything he'd ever done before. He'd have set a big-league record for that if he had qualified, but he missed about two months with back trouble and finished 13 innings short of qualifying.

After his return he was pretty much the same, if not better: 1.29 ERA, 0.714 WHIP in five September starts. He walked only two in 28 innings. That included two wins over the Giants and another over a pretty-good-hitting Rockies team. In the division series vs. the Giants he wasn't quite as good. That's what the Cubs have to face tonight, so hopefully they have a good game plan to get them to the middle innings.

This one will not be easy. But if they can beat Kershaw, I think this series belongs to the Cubs.

Today's game is on FS1. Announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA. If you do go there to interact with Dodgers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.